Sher Bahardur Deuba sworn in as the new PM of Nepal

President Bidya Devi Bhandari appointed the Opposition leader as the prime minister in accordance with Article 76(5) of the Constitution.

Updated - November 22, 2021 10:04 pm IST

Published - July 13, 2021 05:43 pm IST - Kathmandu

File photo of Nepal’s newly elected Prime Minister.

File photo of Nepal’s newly elected Prime Minister.

Sher Bahadur Deuba, leader of the Nepali Congress is the new Prime Minister of Nepal. The 75-year old centrist politician was sworn to office by President Bidhya Devi Bhandari on Tuesday evening, a day after the Supreme Court of Nepal in a dramatic verdict said Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli had violated constitutional principles.

The coaltion government in Kathmandu will consist of Mr Deuba's Nepali Congress, Maoist Center of Pushpa Kamal Dahal “Prachanda” and the Janata Samajvadi Party which is a conglomeration of former Maoists and the Madhesi leaders of Nepal.  Mr Deuba was sworn in with a small cabinet. Gyanendra Karki was sworn in as the minister of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs and Bal Krishna Khand was sworn in as the Minister of Home Affairs.

Also read: News Analysis | In Nepal, Supreme Court offers a way out of political impasse

Maoist Centre got two portfolios - Janardan Sharma got the Finance Ministry and Pampha Bhusal will be in charge of Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation, an important ministry of the Himalayan country. The oath of office was administered by President Bidhya Devi Bhandari who was also subjected to criticism of the Supreme Court for her role in denying Mr Deuba a chance to prove majority in the Parliament of Nepal in May.

Earlier in the day, PM Oli delivered a speech before stepping down and said the verdict of the Supreme Court will have a lasting impact on Nepal.  “The language used in the verdict has alarmed those who believe in multi party democracy,” said PM Oli who had been elected PM on October 11, 2015, following the adoption of the new constititon of Nepal. His second tenure began in  2018. Throughout his tenure, Mr Oli had to defend the constitution in the face of criticism from the Madhesis, or the people from Nepal's plains who said the document was partial to the established elite of Kathmandu. He defended the constitution in the farewell speech and said, “The constitution of Nepal is the document borne out of decades of struggle and sacrifice by the people of Nepal. We strengthened the political system of Nepal.”

The new government of Mr Deuba will have to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic which has been a major failure of the Oli government as Nepal emerged as the second worst hit country in South Asia, after India in the pandemic.  Stability in the new government will depend on the terms of power sharing with Maoist Center and Janata Samajwadi Party. That apart Mr Oli's CPN-UML is expected to remain a potent challenger to the Deuba-led government.

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