Oli holds teleconference again to show all is well, but many don't buy it

Oli’s aides say the prime minister wanted to send a message that he is in good health and very much in command, but others want a proper update.

First, there was much ado about nothing. Then, there were criticisms, claims and counterclaims. And when the dust had just settled, Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli, on Tuesday, held yet another teleconference from Singapore to “talk” to his Cabinet.

The first teleconference, held on August 26, was called the first-ever video conference meeting of the Council of Ministers—both by Oli and his political adviser Bishnu Rimal. But Minister for Communication and Information Technology Gokul Baskota refrained from calling it a Cabinet meeting. In Parliament last Thursday, Baskota said that the prime minister just wanted to say “hello”.

But that teleconference also invited a lot of criticism, with many raising questions over security measures and whether it was even necessary for the prime minister to speak to his Cabinet when he has an acting deputy in place.

Tuesday’s video conference raised similar questions, with some even asking whether Oli was attempting to send a message from Singapore, where he has been since August 22 for medical treatment.