Nepal's Opposition alliance to stake claim to form govt under Deuba's leadership

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Kathmandu, May 21 (PTI) Nepal’s Opposition parties reached the official residence of President Bidya Devi Bhandari on Friday to stake a claim for the formation of a new government after embattled Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli expressed unwillingness to undergo another floor test to prove his government's majority in the House of Representatives.

The alliance of political parties including the Nepali Congress (NC), CPN (Maoist Center), the Upendra Yadav-faction of Janata Samajbadi Party (JSP) and the ruling CPN-UML’s Madhav Nepal faction has claimed to have the support of 149 lawmakers of the House of Representatives (HoR), said Gagan Thapa, a key leader of the NC.

The number includes 61 MPs of Nepali Congress, 48 of Maoist Center, 13 of JSP and 27 of UML, My Republica website reported.

It said the leaders from the Opposition alliance left for the President's official residence, Shital Niwas, to submit the signatures of 149 lawmakers recommending Sher Bhadur Deuba's appointment as the prime minister, The Himalayan Times reported.

President Bhandari had given the parties a deadline until 5:00 pm, Friday, to present their claim.

On Thursday, the government had recommended the president to initiate the formation of a new government pursuant to Article 76 (5) of the Constitution of Nepal as Prime Minister Oli was not 'in the mood' to withstand another floor test.

The prime minister, after his reappointment on May 10, was supposed to gather the House of Representatives' confidence within 30 days. It was feared that if the new government could not be formed as per Article 76 (5), Oli would invoke Article 76 (7) and recommend dissolution of the House of Representatives yet again. PTI MRJ NSA AKJ MRJ