File photo of Sher Bahadur Deuba. Photograph:( AFP )
Sher Bahadur Deuba's win was comfortable. He bagged more votes than what were necessary to win the trust vote
Nepal Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba won confidence vote in country's parliament on Sunday (July 18). He clinched the victory just days after Nepal's Supreme Court reinstated the legislature that was dissolved in May this year.
Deuba (75) has held office four times before. His victory on Sunday was comfortable. He won 165 votes. 136 were required for victory. There were 83 votes against him.
Nepal's new prime minister faces immediate task of procuring vaccines and controlling the spread of COVID-19, which the government says has infected 667,109 people and killed 9,550. As per public health experts, under-reporting of cases means that actual number can be higher.
Fewer than 4 per cent of the country's population has been fully vaccinated.
More than 1.3 million people, who have had a first dose of a vaccine, are awaiting a second as the government scrambles to procure shots.
"Combating COVID will be the first priority of the new government," Deuba said in parliament.
The new government has pledged to vaccinate a third of its people in the next three months and every Nepali by next April.
Last Monday, the Supreme Court ordered Deuba be appointed premier in place of K.P. Sharma Oli. It ruled that Oli, who had been in power for three years, had breached the constitution by dissolving parliament. However, Deuba still needed to win the confidence vote, under the constitution.
Deuba, head of the centrist Nepali Congress party, will head a coalition with former Maoist rebels and a party representing a minority community dominant on Nepal's southern plains.
Oli, 69, says he had been unfairly removed by the court and has vowed to "go to the people" to explain his position.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday congratulated his Nepalese counterpart Sher Bahadur Deuba on his confidence vote win and assured further enhancement of partnership in all sectors, and strengthen “deep-rooted people-to-people ties”.
In a tweet, the Prime Minister extended his wishes to Deuba for a “successful tenure”.
“Congratulations Prime Minister @DeubaSherbdr and best wishes for a successful tenure. I look forward to working with you to further enhance our unique partnership in all sectors and strengthen our deep-rooted people-to-people ties,” Modi said in a tweet.
Congratulations Prime Minister @DeubaSherbdr and best wishes for a successful tenure. I look forward to working with you to further enhance our unique partnership in all sectors, and strengthen our deep-rooted people-to-people ties.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) July 18, 2021
In response to Modi’s tweet, Deuba said, “Thank you very much, Prime Minister @narendramodi Ji, for your congratulatory note. I look forward to closely working with you to strengthen the relationship between our two countries and people.”
Thank you very much, Prime Minister @narendramodi Ji, for your congratulatory note. I look forward to closely working with you to strengthen the relationship between our two countries and people. https://t.co/rJIElX1ytY— Sher Bahadur Deuba (@DeubaSherbdr) July 18, 2021
Deuba led government has pledged to vaccinate a third of its people in the next three months and every Nepali by next April.
(With inputs from Saloni Murarka and agencies)