25 February, 2021

Quickfix Coalition

Intrigue, personal rivalry alter the shape of government again

Quickfix Coalition

FOURTEEN years after he was voted out of office, arch-royalist Surya Bahadur Thapa, 69, has again commandeered the prime minister's chair, at the head of a quickfix combination adhering to a tenuous power-sharing pact. On October 9, he won a vote of confidence in the 205-member Pratinidhi Sabha, with 109 MPs going with him. The solitary two votes against him were cast by the man he replaced, Lokendra Bahadur Chand—who had taken over from Thapa in 1983—and his colleague Padma Sundar Lawati.

 Thapa's Rashtriya Prajatantra Party (RPP) regime is the fourth in less than three years. But it's hardly likely to lend stability to the topsy-turvy scenario that has plagued Nepal after the 1994 general elections threw up a hung parliament. Since then, the RPP has held the balance of power with a mere 19 members—the personal rivalry between RPP supremos, Thapa and Chand, being instrumental in the rise and fall of governments.

Thapa's present dispensation was catapulted to power after Chand's RPP-led coalition lost a no-trust...

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