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Power Realignment: CPN-UML and NC to Form Alliance, Oli Set to Be PM Amid Coalition Disarray

The political landscape in Nepal is shifting dramatically as the current coalition government faces disarray. Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal’s alliance with the CPN-UML and the Nepali Congress (NC) is showing signs of strain, leading to significant speculations about new political alignments.

On March 4, Prime Minister Dahal sought a vote of confidence in the House of Representatives after severing ties with the Nepali Congress and bringing the CPN-UML into the government. Despite his efforts to maintain stability, Dahal has admitted that the coalition has struggled to achieve significant progress, primarily engaging in ministerial reshuffles.

Amid this backdrop, a recent meeting between UML chief KP Sharma Oli and NC President Sher Bahadur Deuba has solidified a new power-sharing agreement. The two leaders discussed various national issues, including the unfinished transitional justice process and potential cooperation to resolve other challenges. This publicly highlighted meeting has confirmed the formation of a new national consensus government, with Oli serving as Prime Minister first, followed by Deuba after one and a half years.

Key points of the proposed agreement include UML Chairman KP Sharma Oli leading a national consensus government, with Deuba set to become Prime Minister after one and a half years. The UML is expected to hold nine ministries, including the Ministry of Finance, while the Nepali Congress will hold ten ministries, including the Ministry of Home Affairs. The UML will lead in Koshi, Lumbini, and Karnali provinces, while the Congress will lead in Bagmati, Gandaki, and Sudurpashchim provinces. Additionally, the Madhesh province will be given to the Madhesh-based parties.

The agreement also includes plans to amend the electoral system and form a Constitution Amendment Suggestion Committee under former Chief Justice Kalyan Shrestha. Discussions on reducing the number of local levels are ongoing, with signatures pending to formalize the agreement.

Despite denials from UML and Congress leaders about any imminent changes in the coalition, the political maneuvering and public statements suggest that Nepal’s political dynamics are poised for a significant transformation. The potential alliance between the CPN-UML and CPN-NC could reshape the country’s governance and address longstanding national issues.

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