Nepal: House membership of four ministers annulled

Four Ministers in Nepal Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli’s Cabinet have been disqualified as members of Parliament after they defected to the Communist Party of Nepal-Unified Marxist Leninist.

Agni Sapkota, Speaker of the House of Representatives, ruled that the four ministers — Top Bahadur Rayamajhi, Gauri Shankar Choudhary, Prabhu Shah and Lekhraj Bhatta — stood disqualified as House members because they have ceased to be members of the Nepal Communist Party (Maoist Centre), which was the party under which they contested elections in 2018.

The other Maoist-turned-UML-leader, Home Minister Ram Bahadur Thapa Badal, also has his fate hanging in the balance as a letter from the Maoist Centre seeking his disqualification is pending before the Chairman of the Upper House.

These ministers chose to continue in Oli’s Cabinet even after the Nepal Communist Party, formed with the merger of UML and NCP Maoists, split and returned to being two separate parties.

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