The main opposition Nepali Congress (NC) has decided to stop Prime Minister (PM) KP Sharma Oli from passing the floor test.
The meeting of office-bearers held at the residence of NC President Sher Bahadur Deuba in Budhanilkantha Tuesday has decided to stop PM Oli from getting the vote of confidence, according to NC Deputy General Secretary Prakash Sharan Mahat. "The first objective is to stop Oli from passing the floor test. Discussion on alternative government will start after that," Mahat stated.
Oli has already decided to seek floor test on May 10.
The current strength of HoR is 271 after Maoist Center expelled four lawmakers who joined CPN-UML after the Supreme Court (SC) invalidated unification of UML and Maoist Center on March 7.
Ruling UML currently has 121 lawmakers, NC 63 (but two are suspended), Maoist Center—that earlier Tuesday decided to withdraw support from the Oli government, has 49 (including Speaker), JSP 34 (including two suspended) and three lawmakers are independent.
Oli will need to get 136 votes to pass the floor test. He will need just 15 votes from outside if he can keep all lawmakers of his party united. He can easily pass the floor test if JSP supports him.
JSP is currently divided on whether to support Oli or not. JSP leaders Baburam Bhattarai and Upendra Yadav, coming from erstwhile Federal Socialist Forum Nepal, have publicly demanded toppling of Oli government while leaders from the erstwhile Rashtriya Janata Party like Thakur and Rajendra Mahato have been negotiating with Oli.
The Yadav-Bhattarai faction has already taken majority decision to support no-confidence motion to be brought against Oli after the Thakur-Mahato faction refused to support no-confidence motion.
The Yadav-Bhattarai faction has 17 lawmakers and claims that the number can rise up to 22. The Thakur-Mahato faction is in minority in both the party and parliamentary party.
Oli can save his chair if he engineers split in JSP and manages to keep UML lawmakers together. He may also get help from RPP and Nepal Workers and Peasants Party that have one seats each.
But he cannot depend on his own lawmakers. He has already sought explanation from 30 lawmakers from the Khanal-Nepal faction fearing they may abandon him. The faction has already warned Oli that the lawmakers will resign en masse if he doesn't mend his ways.