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Nepal: PM Oli Makes Last Ditch Efforts to Stay on

Paper No. 6617                     Dated 9-July-2020
By Dr. S.Chandrasekharan
 
As one Analyst said, the current politcal turmoil in Nepal can be described as a fight between Oli with his naked arrogance and Dahal with his unfettered ambition.  
 
Though Oli has lost his majority at every level of the party, the Central Committee, the Standing Committee and the Secretariat of the Nepal Communist Party, he is still holding out.  The only hope he has now  is whether  the Chinese Ambassador and the President would prevail over the dissident leaders of the NCP to let Oli continue. 
 
The Chinese Ambassador’s intervention was both open and brazen.  And China is warning other other countries not to interfere with its internal matters like Hongkong or Human Right Violations in Tibet or Xinjiang!
 
But opposition to Oli continues and despite all his efforts Oli has not been able to win over any of the members in the opposite Camp.  One of the Standing Committee said that “If we continue with Oli, he will ruin everything - the country, democracy and the Republic”.  
 
On 30th June Oli met the President twice.  Probably he told her that in view of his losing his majority in the Parliament, he would call for pro roguing of the Parliament.  The President promptly did on 2nd July without seeking any clarification either- whether Oli had consulted the Speaker or whether he had consulted the Parliamentary Leaders of the Party.  There were so many urgent bills pending including the one on the Citizenship in the Parliament
 
After another meeting with the President on 4th July, Oli called a meeting of all his Ministers and told them that
1.  Attempts are being made to oust him and impeach the President, 
2.  They should be prepared for any action in a day or two as anything could happen.
 
He also sent his trusted emissary former Speaker Nemwang to meet the Nepali Congress leader Sher Bahadur Thapa and sought the support of the Nepali Congress.  Deuba is said to have told  his colleagues in the party that he was non committal.
 
It was not a surprise that the Chinese Ambassador Hou Yanqi became very active once again.  She called on the President and later Prime Minister Oli.  She met Madhav Nepal on 5th evening and followed it up by meeting Dahal and later Jhalanath Khanal on the 7th.  Media Reports say that the Chinese Ambassador expressed concern over the disputes.  There are other reports that indicate that she stressed for unity and asked both Oli and Dahal to come to an understanding. She pointed out that Oli’s departure will be a victory for India!
 
Oli and Dahal have been having one to one meeting on two occasions and one more is slated for tomorrow the 10th. . The Party Standing Committee Meeting is getting postponed to let the two leaders come to an understanding.  Dahal is said to be insisting on Oli giving up both the posts while Oli has flatly refused. Oli knows that he has the backing of both the President and China to continue.
 
It is clear that with China having a strategic relationship Nepal Communist Party, their Ambassador is doing her best to avoid a split in the communist Party of Nepal.  Next to China and Vietnam, Nepal has the largest number of Communist Party members. It is an asset that China cannot ignore.  Surprising, there were demonstrations against China’s meddling on the 7th before the Chinese Embassy.
 
Again it is worth quoting C.K. Lal. Currently he says that in Nepal the pandemic is out of control and the economy is in shambles.  Diplomatically Nepal is isolated.  
 
If Oli continues as Prime Minister with Chinese backing, despite overwhelming opposition to him within the Party, there is the danger of Nepal becoming another “poodle” like that of Pakistan.  It will get more and more isolated.  The dead line for accepting aid from the Millennium Challenge Corporation of USA has also passed and Nepal is now squarely in Chinese Camp.  The consequences are many and India should take note of it.
 
 
 
 
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