Nepal's prime minister, Khadga Prasad Oli, resigned July 24, nine months after coming to power and minutes before parliament was to vote on a no-confidence motion he was likely to lose, Reuters reported. Oli will remain caretaker prime minister until the parliament picks a new leader. President Bidhya Devi Bhandari is expected to give political parties seven days to agree on a candidate for prime minister. If this fails, lawmakers will attempt to elect a new leader on the basis of a majority on the floor of the parliament.
Nepal has been flirting with crisis since September, when it adopted a new constitution. The ethnic Madhesi minority, which lives in the country's southern plains that border India, rejected it, contending that the new federal states it created marginalized its people by splitting their homeland. Former Maoist rebels brought the no-confidence motion after accusing Oli of failing to honor a power-sharing deal. China and India jostle for influence over Nepal and are worried that prolonged political turmoil could turn the country into a haven for criminals and militants.