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Nepal’s Upper House elections in January, control of former PM Oli-led CPN-UML could slide

Nepal Upper House elections

Nepal’s National Assembly elections will be held on January 24 to replace the 20 members, including vice-chairperson Sashikala Dahal, whose tenure comes to an end in March next year. Nepal’s National Assembly or the Rastriya Sabha which is the Upper House has 59 members in total.

According to Kathmandu Post, eight members from UML, four each from the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist Centre) and CPN (Unified Socialist), three from the ruling Nepali Congress and one nominated will complete their term. “Given the changed political dynamics, the CPN-UML, which currently controls a majority of seats, is going to slide,” the newspaper said.  

The back story

Though KP Sharma Oli led CPN-UML is the largest party in Nepal’s Parliament, it is in opposition after the Supreme Court in July decided to reinstate the House of Representatives that had been dissolved by Nepal President Bidya Devi Bhandari.

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On May 22, Bhandari dissolved the lower House and announced fresh elections in November.

Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba, also the leader of Nepali Congress, with the support of 149 members, had staked claim to form the government on May 24. However Bhandari refused Deuba's claim, helping Oli retail power. The Nepali Congress had hit back calling it “unconstitutional” and “immoral” and that the President and Prime Minister were misusing the Constitution.

In the 275 member Nepalese Parliament—the Pratinidhi Sabha or the House of Representatives, CPN-UML has 94 seats.

After the order of the Apex Court, finally Deuba was sworn in Prime Minister in July.