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In a likely blow to China, Oli dissolves Nepal’s Parliament

In a likely blow to China, Nepal’s Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli has announced dissolution of parliament—a move that follows irreconcilable differences with Pushp Kamal Dahal and Madhav Nepal, two heavyweight communist rivals.

<em>The Hindustan Times</em> is reporting that the dissolution of parliament is likely to split the Communist Party of Nepal. Analysts point out that if that happens, it will deliver a big blow to China, which had gone overboard to paper over the deep cracks in the communist coalition. By keeping the Nepal Communist Party (NCP) flock together, China is well positioned to push its agenda in the Himalayan Republic and undermine India, Nepal’s longstanding strategic and geo-cultural partner.

Last month China’s envoy to Nepal, Hou Yanqi, has gone into overdrive to prevent the ruling communist party from imploding.

Nearly three years ago, China became Nepal’s second internet service provider, breaking India’s monopoly in providing internet access to the Himalayan Kingdom.

Undercutting Kathmandu’s reliance on the Kolkata port, China has allowed Nepal to access four its Chinese seaports—Tianjin, Lianyungang, Shenzhen, and Zhanjiang—notwithstanding the higher costs that Nepali traders will inevitably incur with their usage.

High drama accompanied Oli’s bold Sunday morning move, announced following a cabinet meeting.

“Today’s Cabinet meeting decided to recommend the President to dissolve the Parliament,” said Barshaman Pun, energy minister in PM Oli’s cabinet after the meeting.

Oli withstood considerable last-minute pressure not to go in for the parliament’s dissolution. Last evening, he met President Bidya Devi Bhandari at her official residence ‘Shital Niwas’. This was among the several meetings that he held on Saturday to arrive at a common denominator with his rivals. Oli has been battling his rivals who have protested against his Tuesday ordnance that empowered the prime minister to make key appointments.

After the annulling the parliament, Oli will continue to head the interim parliament.

On Saturday, PM Oli specially visited the residence of his rival Dahal or Prachanda for a last-minute patch up over the ordnance. <em>Hindustan Times</em> quoted sources familiar with the matter that PM Oli told Prachanda that they needed to work together and find a way out of the crisis. But Prachanda remained obdurate.

This was the last straw that persuaded Oli to take the final call. He is learnt to have sounded out Home minister Ram Bahadur Thapa, who is seen to be close to Prachanda, and sought his support in dissolving the House..