The Nepalese Election: A Tale of Two Parties

The Nepalese Election: A Tale of Two Parties

Nepal’s main party leading in poll results but no majority for prime minister

Nepalese Prime Minister K.P. Oli was leading by two seats in a national election, but no single party commanded major support. Instead, a government of parties and alliances of all stripes were on the verge of forming. But none of them had a majority, and Oli could not get his cabinet ratified by the king.

The Nepalese election on October 28 was supposed to be a milestone, with a government-of-all-parties government, after years of deadlock in the country’s political system. But it turned out to be an unexpected event, as no one party commanded a clear majority in the country’s parliament, nor could Oli form a majority.

Oli called a snap election for October 28, after a national committee was unable to agree on key issues of governance. That resulted in a general election without a single political party in the lead.

Oli was seeking a second five-year term as prime minister, but his attempts to form a majority government were defeated on October 17 when the Election Commission disqualified him as the prime minister and barred him from holding a second term.

Oli’s election was supposed to give a strong mandate to his government to make a long-term reform agenda, but the opposition parties failed to agree on who would lead a government.

The election’s outcome was not a surprise as the election campaign for the first phase was dominated by the election of Oli’s party, the Nepalese Congress (NC). After the poll results were announced, the party’s leaders said that Oli had been sidelined.


Olli is a former army officer who was a key figure in the war against the Maoists in the late 1980s, and played a key role when he became the prime minister in the 2006-09 rule of his brother Jhala.

Oli won the elections on the political strength of his party, which he formed, and a new alliance called the “Gang of Seven

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