Amid Opposition Protests, Nepal PM Wins Parliamentary Vote of Confidence

KATHMANDU – Nepal’s Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal secured a parliamentary vote of confidence on Monday, despite opposition protests demanding an investigation into allegations against his home minister.

Dahal, a former Maoist rebel leader, formed a coalition government in March with the support of the liberal Communist Unified Marxist-Leninist (UML) party and several smaller parties. However, a fresh vote of confidence became necessary after a junior coalition partner withdrew support due to disagreements.

The main opposition party, Nepali Congress, called for a parliamentary probe into allegations that Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister Rabi Lamichhane illegally received money from multiple cooperative companies before entering politics. Lamichhane, a former television show presenter, has denied these charges.

During the vote, Parliament Speaker Dev Raj Ghimire announced that Dahal won 157 votes, surpassing the required 138 in the 275-member parliament. The entire opposition, except for one member, abstained from voting.

“As the number is the majority of all members of parliament, I declare the motion of confidence tabled by the prime minister as passed,” Ghimire stated amid opposition protests and slogan shouting.

Dahal, known by his war name “Prachanda” (meaning fierce), led a decade-long insurgency from 1996 that resulted in 17,000 deaths before joining mainstream politics under a UN-mediated peace deal in 2006. This marks Dahal’s third term as prime minister, though he has yet to complete a full five-year term in his previous stints.

Nepal, which became a republic in 2008 after abolishing its 239-year-old monarchy, has experienced significant political instability, with 13 different governments in power since then.