Nepal’s Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli lost a confidence vote in parliament Monday, ending his attempt to show he has enough support in office.
According to parliament speaker Agni Sapkota, out of 232 lawmakers present, Oli received support from only 93 lawmakers, while 124 voted against him. A new rival faction within his governing party voted to abstain.
President Bidhya Devi Bhandari is expected to ask Oli to lead a caretaker government while parties in parliament form a new government.
Oli wanted a vote of confidence Monday in an attempt to show he had enough support to stay in power.
Oli’s moderate communist party split from former Maoist rebels in March following differences over their power-sharing deal, erasing their governing majority.
The head of the main Maoist group, who goes by his nom de guerre of Prachanda, has accused Oli of sidelining party leaders, ignoring collective decision-making, and undermining the role of parliament.
“He has created instability and is behind the crisis the country is facing now,” Prachanda said. “He does not have the confidence of parliament any more.”
Oli has been criticized by opponents and on social media for downplaying the coronavirus pandemic and asking citizens to “wash the virus down” their throats by drinking a mixture of hot water, guava leaves, and turmeric powder.
Oli’s loss comes at a time when the country is battling a serious surge in infections.
On Monday, the country reported a new 24-hour tally of 9,127 infection. The total now stands at 403,794, with 3,859 deaths, according to government data.