Retains Council of Ministers


President Bidhya Devi Bhandari administered the oath of office and secrecy to KP Sharma Oli for his third term as prime minister.

Yesterday, President Bhandari had appointed Oli as the new prime minister as per Article 76 (3) of the constitution that provisions formation of a government by the largest party in the Parliament.

The ruling CPN-UML chaired by Oli is the largest party in the House of Representatives with 121 members.

Oli has not made any changes to his former cabinet and kept the same faces, who too were sworn in today by the president.

Minister of State for Health and Population Nabaraj Rawat and Minister of State for Urban Development Ramvir Manandhar took the oath of office and secrecy from the prime minister.

The president appointed Oli as the new PM yesterday under Article 76 (3) after other parties failed to stake claim to form a coalition government under Article 76 (2).

Nepali Congress and CPN-Maoist Centre chose not to stake claim to form the new government as they didn't have the numbers to form a majority government, primarily because the UML's faction led by Madhav Kumar Nepal decided to side with Oli at the eleventh hour.

The opposition's chances were further trimmed as a faction in the Janata Samajbadi Party-Nepal refused to back the NC and the CPN-MC's attempt to form a new government.

That means Oli is at the helm again while Nepal grapples with shortage of medical supplies, mismanagement of the situation by the state, and spike in infections and fatalities amid the raging second wave of the pandemic.

Oli will have to seek another vote of confidence within 30 days. The process to form a new government under Article 76 (5) will start if Oli fails to win the vote of confidence. Chances of Oli losing the vote of confidence are high, as those who voted against him on Monday are likely to do the same again.

A version of this article appears in the print on May 15, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.