Nepal PM KP Sharma Oli Photograph:( PTI )
The president's announcement to form a government came after Oli failed a vote of confidence in the Parliament with 93 votes in favor while 124 against the motion
Nepal President Bidya Devi Bhandari called on parties to form a new majority government by Thursday after Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli lost a trust vote in the parliament.
"President Bidya Devi Bhandari has decided to invite parties to form a majority government pursuant to Article 76 (2) of the Constitution of Nepal," a statement issued by the President’s Office said.
She has asked all the parties to stake their claim by Thursday 9:00 PM.
Bhandari’s announcement to form a government came after Oli failed a vote of confidence in the Parliament with 93 votes in favor while 124 against the motion. Oli fell short of 43 votes to reach the 136-mark and win the vote of confidence. The session was attended by 232 lawmakers.
Three opposition leaders, Sher Bahadur Deuba (Nepali Congress), Pushpa Kamal Dahal-Prachanda (CPN-Maoist Centre) and a faction of Janata Samajbadi Party led by Upendra Yadav had called on President to initiate government formation procedure, soon after the commencement of a special session of the parliament on Monday.
Nepali Congress has 61 lawmakers while CPN-Maoist Centre has 49 members in the Parliament. Only 17 of the total 32 lawmakers of Upendra Yadav faction are in support of Congress-led government.
Nepali Congress will still require 10 more votes to form a coalition government.
Nepal Workers and Peasants Party, Rastriya Prajatantra Party and Rastriya Janamorcha Party each have one seat in the parliament and neither of them have announced their support to either party as of yet.
Meanwhile, Janata Samajbadi Party leader Mahantha Thakur has refused to be part of the new government formation.
In a statement, Thakur said that his party's priority is getting its agendas addressed rather than government formation or being part of any government.
With Oli failing the trust vote, the president needs to invoke Article 76 (2) to form a new government. It says in cases where no party has a clear majority in the House, the president shall appoint as the prime minister a member of the House who can command the majority with the support of two or more parties in the House of Representatives.
The House speaker Agni Sapkota had informed Monday's parliamentary meeting that the next session would be held on Thursday.
While addressing the Parliament, Oli had said, "It was unfortunate that a government that tirelessly worked for the country's development and nation-building was being targeted for narrow and partisan interests."
The prime minister also said that the government wanted to give its attention to the COVID-19 pandemic but was "facing difficulties".
Opposition leaders, including Deuba and Prachanda, Yadav blamed Oli for his failure to tackle the surge in COVID-19 cases over the last few weeks.