Nepal Prime Minister Oli resigns ahead of no-trust vote

Mr. Oli has been facing a no-trust motion after the Maoists led by Pushpa Kamal Dahal 'Prachanda' withdrew support from the coalition government.

Updated - October 18, 2016 03:03 pm IST

Published - July 24, 2016 07:31 pm IST - Kathmandu

In this July 21, 2016 photo, Nepalese Prime Minister K.P. Oli (centre) leaves Parliament in Kathmandu.

In this July 21, 2016 photo, Nepalese Prime Minister K.P. Oli (centre) leaves Parliament in Kathmandu.

Nepal’s embattled Prime Minister K.P. Oli resigned on Sunday ahead of a no-confidence vote, plunging the country into a fresh political turmoil after last year’s crippling Madhesi protests against the new Constitution.

Mr. Oli, who became Prime Minister in October 2015 heading Nepal’s eighth government in the past 10 years, has been >facing a no-trust motion after the Maoists withdrew support from the coalition government.

Mr. Oli tendered his resignation after two key ruling alliance partners — the Madhesi People’s Rights Forum-Democratic and the Rastriya Prajatantra Party — decided to support the no-confidence motion tabled against him by the Nepali Congress (NC) and the CPN-Maoist Centre led by Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’.

They had accused Mr. Oli of not honouring his past commitments.

Addressing the Parliament on the no-confidence motion, Mr. Oli said that he came to power nine months ago when the country was in a grave crisis and was “sad” that the government was changing at a time when it is overcoming the hindrances following last year’s deadly earthquakes that killed nearly 9,000 people.

“The game for a change in the government at this time is mysterious,” the 64-year-old CPN-UML leader said, adding he was punished for doing good work.

Mr. Oli said Nepal-India relations was at an all-time low during the time he assumed power last year. However, with his efforts the relations were normalised.

He also mentioned about the Eminent Peoples Group’s meeting held in Kathmandu last week in which the discussions were held to review various treaties and agreements signed between Nepal and India including the Nepal-India Peace and Friendship Treaty of 1950.

“The relations between Nepal and China and the relations between Nepal and India are unique which cannot be compared with one another,” he said, adding his efforts have reduced Nepal’s economic dependency on a single country.

Nepal signed transport and transit treaty with China so that it could have access in both of its borders. Now the people of Nepal would not have to face the difficulty it future like it had at the time of border blockade, he said.

“Nepal should adopt equidistance in relations with its neighbours for the betterment of the country and the people. We respect the sensitivity of both our neighbours and we also expect the same from them.”

However, we cannot accept interference in our internal affairs, though we want good relations with or neighbours, he added.

The no-trust motion was democratic just in form, but it’s a conspiracy in essence, Mr. Oli said, adding the motion was not natural and normal in terms of its time, condition and nature.

He also said that attempts to bring down his government were made to hinder the implementation of the new Constitution.

He warned that the nation would have to pay a high price for it.

Nepal has been facing political crisis since adopting a new Constitution in September 2015. The Madhesis, mostly of Indian-origin, have been opposing the new statute as they fear it would marginalise them by dividing the country into seven Provinces.

Nearly five-month-long Madhesi protests led to the closure of key trading points with India that led to the shortage of essential supplies in the land-locked country.

The blockade of trade points with India ended in February after more than 50 people were killed in clashes.

The Maoists decided to oust Mr. Oli two months ago after he said he would address Madhesi concerns and rebuild homes destroyed in earthquakes in 2015.

Prachanda, who is the favourite to replace Mr. Oli, on Friday accused the Prime Minister of being ego-centric and self-centred and said, “This made us unable to continue to work with him.”

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