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Five ministers, 25 MPs test COVID-19 positive ahead of Nepal PM’s floor test



Ahead of the of Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli’s vote of confidence scheduled for May 10, five ministers and around 25 Members of Parliament have tested positive for COVID-19, Lila Nath Shrestha, Minister for Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs confirmed the WION. 

Minister of women, children and senior citizens Julie Kumari Mahato, minister for energy, water resources and irrigation, Top Bahadur Rayamajhi, culture, tourism and civil aviation minister Bhanu Bhakte Dhakal are among the five ministers, who have tested positive.  

RT-PCR (Real Time- Polymerase Chain Reaction) tests conducted from Wednesday to Friday ahead of Monday’s special session confirmed the infection in around 25 members of parliament. 

“A total five ministers and around 25 Members of Parliament have tested positive. It is sure that they will cast their vote, but we are trying to arrange a way for them to be able to vote,” Lila Nath Shrestha told WION.  

Speaking to WION, Nepali Congress leader Padam Narayan Chaudhary said that an 18-member committee will hold a meeting today to arrange a way for the leaders to vote.  

“A committee comprising of leaders from all parties, Chief Ministers will hold a meeting today. There is a chance that online voting might take place for the leaders, who have tested positive. The coronavirus will not stop the voting,” said Chaudhary.  

The House of Representatives will decide the fate of Oli if he continues to reign or loses power.  

The Maoist Centre has a total of 49 lawmakers, Nepali Congress has 61 and the Samajbadi Party has 31 in the lower house. Since the ruling CPN-UML has a total of 121 lawmakers, Prime Minister Oli is short of 15 lawmakers to save his government in the 275-member House. 

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