Prime Minister Dahal secures confidence vote amid raucous protests

Prime Minister Dahal secures confidence vote amid raucous protests
Image: House of Representatives Nepal

Tensions ran high in Nepal's Parliament on Monday as Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal secured a confidence vote amid raucous protests and disruptions from the opposition Nepali Congress party.

The dramatic scenes unfolded during the confidence vote session, which saw Dahal receive 157 votes in his favor, solidifying his position as prime minister. However, the Nepali Congress protested vociferously, shouting slogans and demanding the formation of a parliamentary inquiry committee to investigate a cooperative scandal.

While addressing members of parliament, Dahal faced continuous interruptions from Nepali Congress lawmakers, leading to a chaotic atmosphere in the House of Representatives. Dahal expressed his anger as he criticized the opposition, warning them that they will suffer serious repercussions for their obstructive tactics in the forthcoming elections..

"The Nepali Congress's activities today will go down as a stigma in history. They will have to pay the price for this behavior at the polling booths very soon," Dahal told reporters after the confidence vote at the Federal Parliament premises in Kathmandu.

The prime minister alleged the main opposition party undermined parliamentary democracy by disrupting constitutional processes like the confidence vote. "How can they obstruct House proceedings in such a manner? The people will render their judgment," he asserted.

Nepali Congress representatives defended their actions as a justifiable protest against the Dahal government's perceived lack of transparency around the cooperative finance scandal that has rocked the political establishment.

"We demanded answers and accountability on this major corruption issue that has tainted this administration. When our democratic demands were ignored, we had no choice but to raise our voices," said Nepali Congress MP Prakash Sharan Mahat.

Political tensions have been elevated since Dahal was re-appointed prime minister in March after his predecessor's coalition government collapsed. Monday's events indicate the bitter divisions are likely to intensify further ahead of the general elections scheduled for November 2024.

Despite the acrimonious context, Dahal claimed his coalition had the popular mandate to govern based on the confidence vote outcome. "Today's result is a victory for the democratic forces and the people's agenda of progressing Nepal forward," he told jubilant supporters later in the day.

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