Deuba, Sher Bahadur (Nepal)

Reference work entry


Sher Bahadur Deuba has served four terms as prime minister of Nepal, most recently from June 2017–Feb. 2018.

Early Life

Sher Bahadur Deuba was born on 13 June 1946 in Dadeldhura. While at university, he was a founding member of the Nepal Students Union and was elected its president in 1971.

In 1994 he became the Nepali Congress parliamentary leader, and then prime minister in Sept. 1995. This term lasted until March 1997, and during this time he oversaw the Mahakali Treaty, signed with India, which regulated the development and use of the Mahakali River.

Deuba strengthened his position within his own party in 2001 after defeating Sushil Koirala in the election for parliamentary party leader. He began his second term as prime minister in July that year. However, he failed to bring Maoist rebels to any kind of agreement, which led to several states of emergency being announced, and King Gyanendra ended his premiership in Oct. 2002.

Deuba’s third brief period as prime minister from June 2004–Feb. 2005 resulted once again in him being dismissed by the king, who was in the midst of establishing his own undisputed rule. Deuba was imprisoned under charges of corruption but released in Feb. 2006.

Disagreements in the party in 2002 led to the Nepali Congress splitting, with Deuba leading the Nepali Congress (Democratic) faction, although there was a reconciliation in 2007. Deuba successfully ran as the candidate for the Dadeldhura and Kanchanpur-4 constituencies for the Constituent Assembly elections of 10 April 2008. However, he lost his bid for the premiership in the Aug. elections of that year. In 2009 Ram Chandra Paul defeated Deuba in the race for parliamentary leader.

Career Peak

Pushpa Kamal Dahal of the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist-Centre), who had been elected prime minister in Aug. 2016, resigned in May 2017, in what was an expected move. His coalition government with the Nepali Congress had scheduled such a power-sharing rotation, and he was replaced by Deuba, who had earlier become president of the Congress, on 7 June 2017.

Entering his fourth term as premier, Deuba promised to implement the new constitution of 2015, and pledged to hold the second phase of local elections in 2018.

However, he faced strong domestic opposition; he accused the Left alliance, comprising the Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist-Leninist) and the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist-Centre), of trying to derail democracy. Parliamentary elections in Dec. 2017 further undermined his position as the Left alliance won 174 seats against 63 for the Nepali Congress. Deuba resigned on 15 Feb. 2018 and was succeeded as prime minister by Khadga Prasad Oli.

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