Sher Bahadur Deuba's immediate task is to usher in political stability in Nepal

·3-min read

Kathmandu, Jul 13 (PTI) Sher Bahadur Deuba, who assumed office for a record fifth time as Nepal's Prime Minister, has the immediate task of ending the unprecedented political crisis in the country that saw the controversial dissolution of the House of Representatives and its reinstatement by the apex court twice within six months.

The 75-year-old Nepali Congress President and Opposition leader’s appointment came after the Supreme Court on Monday ruled in his favour following a month-long hearing on the dissolution of the House of Representatives by President Bidya Devi Bhandari in May.

The veteran leader, who received the support of the Opposition parties in his legal fight in the apex court against incumbent Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli and President Bhandari, is required to seek a vote of confidence within 30 days to remain in power at a time when the Himalayan nation is combating the COVID-19 pandemic while facing a severe shortage of vaccines.

Deuba earlier served as Nepal's Prime Minister on four occasions: from September 1995–March 1997, July 2001–October 2002, June 2004–February 2005 and June 2017–February 2018. However, he never completed his tenure.

In his first foreign trip after he assumed office in June 2017, Deuba visited India in August 2017 and held bilateral talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Deuba had earlier paid three visits to India as prime minister, in 1996, 2004 and 2005.

Born on June 13, 1946 in a remote village in Dadeldhura district of far-western Nepal, Deuba started his political career as a student leader. He was a founder member and President of the Nepal Students Union, the student political wing of the Nepali Congress, from 1971 to 1980.

During the national referendum in 1980, he was actively promoting multi-party democracy in the country which was ruled by a monarch. He was the Police In Charge of Nepali Congress in the Far Western region in 1991.

Deuba was elected Member of Parliament from Dadeldhura district from 1991 to November 1994. He served as Home Minister in the Nepali Congress government led by Girija Prasad Koirala from December 1991 to September 1994.

He was elected parliamentary party leader of the Nepali Congress after the midterm elections in 1994.

Deuba was appointed Prime Minister for the first time in 1995 and led a coalition government. However, his government collapsed in March 1997.

Following a power struggle within the party, Deuba formed a separate Nepali Congress Democratic party and served as its President from September 2002 to January 2006.

In May 2006, he was unanimously re-elected President of the Nepali Congress Democratic. However, Deuba dissolved his splinter party and rejoined the Nepali Congress in September 2007.

He served as the Head of the High Level Recommendation Committee for the Resolution of Maoist Problem from December 1999 to October 2000. He also served as the Vice-President of the Socialist International – a worldwide organisation of social democratic, socialist and labour parties - from June 2008 to 2012.

He was elected the President of the Nepali Congress on March 7, 2016.

Deuba is one of the few political leaders of Nepal who spent several years in jail intermittently for political beliefs from 1966 to 2005.

He holds a Bachelor’s in Law and a Master’s in Political Science. He was conferred with an honorary doctorate by the Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi in November 2016 for his contribution in strengthening democracy.

He is married to Arzu Rana and is a father of a son. PTI ZH AKJ ZH ZH

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