Nepali Congress parliamentary party leader Uddhav Thapa has been appointed chief minister of Koshi province.
Thapa has been appointed chief minister with the support of 47 lawmakers from the ruling coalition -- 29 from NC, 13 including the speaker from CPN (Maoist Center), four from CPN (Unified Socialist) and one from Janata Samajwadi Party.
Province chief Parshuram Khapung appointed Thapa to the post of chief minister as per Article 168 (2) of the Constitution.
"In cases where no party has a clear majority in the Provincial Assembly pursuant to clause (1), the Chief of Province shall appoint as the Chief Minister a member of the Provincial Assembly who is able to command majority with the support of two or more parties representing to the Provincial Assembly," Article 168 (2) of the Constitution states.
Thapa, who hails from Shanishchare in Arjundhara Municipality, Jhapa, was elected to the Koshi provincial assembly through the proportional representation (PR) electoral system in November last year. He is also the Koshi province president of Nepali Congress.
Thapa is the first chief minister from Nepali Congress in Koshi. All four chief ministers before him were from communist parties – Sherdhan Rai, Bhim Acharya and Hikmat Karki from CPN-UML, and Rajendra rai from Unified Socialist.
The coalition parties have a total of 47 votes, which constitutes a majority in the 93-member provincial assembly. However, Maoist Center has also included speaker Baburam Gautam to achieve the required majority. While party leaders’ signatures would suffice while staking claim for government formation, there’s still confusion over the speaker’s role during a floor test.
Not only UML, but constitution experts have also been saying that the speaker can cast the deciding vote only when the votes are tied in the provincial assembly. As the Constitution also states the same, Rastriya Prajatantra Party could be the decisive factor in the province.