This moment is not the end of time, Oli says in his valedictory speech
KATHMANDU: Nepal’s Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli on Sunday announced his resignation in the Parliament after the conclusion of deliberations on the no-confidence motion against him.
Seeing his coalition partners forsaking him and the no-confidence motion almost certain to pass, the CPN-UML chairman took the step to prevent himself from further humiliation. He spent 287 days in Singhadarbar as Nepal’s executive head.
After responding to the no-confidence motion, Prime Minister Oli told the House he already tendered resignation to the President.
“Madam Speaker, I have met the Honourable President before coming to this respectful House. After the budgetary bills were rejected from the Legislature-Parliament, I have understood the majority of members of the Legislature-Parliament that elected me as the Prime Minister do not have support to me, whatever be the reason. I have already said – the post of Prime Minister is not my only target and destination. Thus, at the changed scenario, I would like to inform that I have already tendered my resignation to the President with a decision to pave the way for this House to elect a new prime minister.”
He further informed the House that he recommended the President to use the Article 305 of Constitution as per the Cabinet’s decision to remove difficulties on formation of new government.
In his 110-minute valedictory speech, Oli thanked the Parliament, members of his team and coalition, security agencies and people among others. He further expressed his and his party’s readiness to help the new government implement the Constitution.
Earlier Prime Minister Oli said the no-confidence motion was a normal and natural process. “But I would not like to comment, now, how normal or natural this no-confidence motion is given its timing, condition and nature,” he added.
Saying it was important that the Constitution and the democracy succeeded, Oli thanked all the parties in Parliament for accepting the Constitution even though they challenged his leadership.
He defended his role as the prime minister and leader of ruling coalition, and responded to allegations made against him. “I didn’t have to prolong the government looking for loopholes in the Constitution. I dismiss this allegation.”
“This moment is not the end of time,” he said twice in different contexts.
While defending himself, he criticised the role of CPN Maoist Centre, its chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal and the main opposition Nepali Congress.
Dubbing the Maoist withdrawing support to the government and moving the no-confidence motion as sudden, unexpected and mysterious move, and questioned Dahal’s intentions and ethics.
Oli reminded the House of “unfavourable situation” in which he had taken up the responsibility and said, “As we overcame the unfavourable situation, came back to normalcy and started taking up a new pace, efforts were made from withing the ruling coalition to bring back problems.”
Expressing dissatisfaction over Oli’s modus operandi and more importantly due to his refusal to implement an apparent gentle agreement to hand over premiership to the top Maoist leader, Oli’s former trusted ally CPN Maoist Centre Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal joined forces with the main opposition Nepali Congress.
They jointly brought in the no-confidence motion against the Prime Minister with a commitment to pull down the Oli-led government and form a new government in Dahal’s leadership. As per their agreement, Dahal would resign after some months and Nepali Congress President Sher Bahadur Deuba would take over the reins.
Oli said the no-trust against him was not due to what he did but due to “my friend’s torn heart”. “I tried to mend fences with him. One day I would sew his torn heart at one place, the following day he would come with the heart torn at another place,” he jocularly said, aiming at Maoist Chairman Dahal, who aspires to become new Prime Minister.
The Nepali Congress and Maoist party combinedly have 288 lawmakers in the Parliaments, which currently has 596 members. The Nepali Congress-Maoist alliance needed support from other 10 lawmakers to make it a majority and ensure Oli’s deposition.
With Madhesi parties (lawmakers) lending support to the bid of Nepali Congress and Maoist party to unseat Prime Minister Oli and pull down the government, and two ruling parties — Janadhikar Forum-Democratic (15 lawmakers) and Rastriya Prajatantra Party (12 lawmakers) — jumping on the bandwagon, the no-confidence motion was certain to pass in the Parliament with a strong majority.
The Parliament had elected CPN-UML Chairman Oli as the country’s top executive on October 11, 2015 as per the Constitution, which was promulgated on September 20. He had assumed his office the following day.
Forming an alliance with the then UCPN-Maoist (now CPN Maoist Centre), Rastriya Prajatantra Party-Nepal, Madhesi Janadhikar Forum-Democratic, Rastriya Prajantantra Party and other fringe parties, Oli had succeeded in securing the berth at Singhadarbar. CPN-UML and Maoist party had accused the then Prime Minister Sushil Koirala of breaching the gentle agreement among them to make Oli his successor.
Oli had defeated Sushil Koirala, who was also the president of Nepali Congress, in the prime ministerial elections in the Parliament at the time the country reeled under the border blockade and shortage of essential commodities.
As many as 587 lawmakers, out of 597, had taken part in the voting and 338 had lent their support to Oli.
What’s in the Article 305
Power to remove difficulties: If any difficulty arises in connection with the implementation of this Constitution until the commencement of the first session of the Federal Parliament, upon being elected in accordance with this Constitution, the President may, on the recommendation of the Government of Nepal, Council of Ministers, issue necessary orders to remove such difficulty; and such orders must be submitted to the Legislature-Parliament or Federal Parliament, held immediately after the issuance of such orders, for approval.