Kathmandu. The coalition government led by Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ in Nepal has gone into minority. Nepal’s second largest party Nepal Communist Party-Unified Marxist Leninist (CPN-UML) which was part of the government has decided to withdraw its support and form a new coalition with its old rival Nepali Congress.

With the withdrawal of support, eight ministers of the CPN-UML resigned en masse from the government on July 3, formally exiting the Pushpa Kamal Dahal-led cabinet. The party gave Dahal a 24-hour deadline to resign from the post of prime minister.

Prachanda has shown reluctance to resign from his post, and his party has also decided to face a no-confidence vote within 30 days. Leaders of the party and the country’s largest party, the Nepali Congress, signed an agreement on July 3 to form a new partnership to rule for the remaining three years before general elections.

Prachanda has been leading a shaky coalition since becoming prime minister in December 2022, when his party finished third in an inconclusive election. He began switching coalition partners to maintain his majority. The Maoist leader survived a no-confidence motion in early March when a smaller party broke away from his coalition. If he does not step down immediately, he will need a confidence motion in a month.

Prachanda led a violent Maoist communist insurgency from 1996 to 2006. More than 17,000 people were killed and the status of many others is unknown. After entering politics, Prachanda’s party won the most parliamentary seats in 2008 and he became prime minister, but stepped down a year later due to differences with the president.