KATHMANDU – Nepal’s President Bidhya Devi Bhandari nominated K P Sharma Oli, of the CPN-UML, on Thursday as the country’s next prime minister after Sher Bahadur Deuba stepped down from the post earlier in the day.
Bidhya Devi Bhandari nominated the chairman of the Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist-Leninist), who had previously served as prime minister from Oct. 11, 2015 to Aug. 3, 2016 before his government was brought down owing to internal power struggle.
“President Bidhya Devi Bhandari has appointed member of House of Representatives KP Sharma Oli as PM as per Article 76(2) of the Constitution of Nepal,” a statement by the Nepalese president’s office said.
The nomination of Oli – who is expected to take charge in a few hours – comes after Deuba officially resigned as Prime Minister on Thursday, his party Nepali Congress having lost the elections in December.
Deuba announced his resignation in an address to the nation, saying he had been waiting for the election commission to declare results for all the elections – including the House of Representatives, the National Assembly and seven regional assemblies – before resigning.
The CPN-UML has initiated a process of merger with its alliance partner, the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist Center).
The two parties together hold 174 – 121 by UML and 53 by Maoists – of the 275 seats in the newly-elected House of Representatives (the lower house), which will be convened in the next 30 days.
After the National Assembly, the upper house, is elected by the seven state assemblies, all democratic institutions enshrined in the Nepalese constitution of 2015 will be fully functional.
It will bring to an end a transition process that began in 2008 with the end of the monarchy, two years after a bloody civil war with the Maoists ended with a ceasefire.