Key partner withdraws support from Nepalese government to join new coalition


KATHMANDU, Nepal (AP) — Nepal’s second-largest party withdrew from government on Thursday to join its longtime rival in a new coalition, as pressure mounts on the prime minister to step down.

The Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist Leninist), the second largest party, has announced that it is withdrawing its support for the prime minister Pushpa Kamal DahalAll their ministers resigned on Wednesday evening.

Leaders of the party and the Nepali Congress, the country’s largest party, signed an agreement on Tuesday to form a new partnership to govern for the remaining three years before general elections.

Dahal has led his shaky governing coalition since become prime minister in December 2022 after an inconclusive election in which his party finished third. He switched coalition partners to maintain his majority.

The Maoist leader survived a no-confidence vote earlier in March after a smaller party left the coalition. If he does not step down immediately, he will have to submit a vote of confidence within a month.

It is Dahal’s third time in power since his Maoist group ended an armed uprising in 2006 and entered mainstream politics.

Dahal, also known as Prachanda or the “fierce one,” led a violent Maoist communist insurgency from 1996 to 2006. More than 17,000 people were killed and the status of many others remains unknown.

After entering politics, Dahal’s party won the most seats in parliament in 2008 and he became prime minister. However, he resigned a year later due to differences with the president.

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