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Nepal’s Political Landscape Shifts: Prachanda Forges New Alliance, Opts for Cabinet Restructuring

March 5, 2024 10:30 am


In a significant turn of events, Nepal’s Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal, widely known as ‘Prachanda,’ orchestrated a major political reshuffling on Monday by dissolving a year-old partnership with the Nepali Congress.

The decision was prompted by escalating tensions between the leadership of the two parties. Prachanda, a former guerrilla leader, opted for a fresh alliance with the Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist-Leninist), headed by former premier KP Sharma Oli.

The fracture deepened as Nepali Congress President Deuba advocated for the appointment of the party’s senior leader and recently elected lawmaker, Krishna Sitaula, as the Chairman of the National Assembly—a proposition that clashed with Prachanda’s plan to appoint a member of his own party to the crucial post.

The newly formed political alignment, excluding the largest party and a significant democratic force, Nepali Congress, has brought together the two largest communist factions. This shift may not align with India’s interests, according to insights from senior journalist and political analyst Dhruva Hari Adhikary.

Ganesh Shah, Secretary of the CPN-Maoist, stated, “As (the) Nepali Congress did not cooperate with the Prime Minister, we are forced to look for (a) new alliance.”

Following the alliance, three ministers were sworn in on Monday. Padam Giri from the CPN-UML, Hit Bahadur Tamang from CPN, and Dol Prasad Aryal from the Rashtriya Swatantra Party took their oaths of office and secrecy during a ceremony held at the President’s office, Sheetal Niwas.

It’s noteworthy that Prime Minister Prachanda has retained 25 ministerial portfolios, including those of home, defense, foreign affairs, and finance. This reshaping of the political landscape sets the stage for a new chapter in Nepal’s governance and raises questions about the dynamics of regional geopolitics.

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