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HomeEnglishFact Check: Hoax Claims Rabi Lamichhane Appointed As The New Prime Minister

Fact Check: Hoax Claims Rabi Lamichhane Appointed As The New Prime Minister

Sanjeeb Phuyal is the Nepali Editor of Newschecker based in Kathmandu, Nepal. He brings over a decade of experience writing and editing news. In his previous stint, he worked as online editor for The Kathmandu Post. With the growth of social media platforms—and the ever-growing competition amongst media outlets to churn out breaking news, he feels that fact-checking every piece of information has become more essential today than ever before.

Claim
Seven-party coalition appoints Rastriya Swatantra Party President Rabi Lamichhane as the new Prime Minister
Fact
Rastriya Swatantra Party is in the opposition bench and Nepal’s Prime Minister Dahal is on a four-day official visit to India

At a time when the national news is dominated by Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal’s official visit to India, two videos claiming that Rastriya Swatantra Party (RSP) President Rabi Lamichhane has been appointed as the new Prime Minister have been circulating on TikTok. The first video claims that an alliance of seven political parties has agreed to name Rabi Lamichhane as the new Prime Minister, while the second video claims that Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist Centre) Chairman and Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal has given in, making way for RSP Lamichhane to be appointed as the new prime minister. Newschecker found the claims to be misleading.

TikTok user @rubeshyadav3 posted a video showing an image of elated Rabi Lamichhane being covered with garlands and talking on the phone in front of a huge crowd. Text superimposed on the video reads, “Rabi Lamichhane has been appointed as the new prime minister by an alliance of seven political parties, everyone is celebrating the good news.  The archived version of the TikTok video can be seen here.

The video posted on May 27 has garnered 4332 likes, 36 users have share it and 137 users have commented on the video until the last count.

The same user posted another video showing images of RSP President Rabi Lamichhane and Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal with a tune from a Bollywood song titled ‘Pyar Kiya To Darna Kya’ played in the background. Text superimposed on the video reads, “Finally, Prachanda [Prime Minister and Chairman of CPN (Maoist Centre) Pushpa Kamal Dahal gave in. Rabi [RSP President Rali Lamichhane] has become the new prime minister and celebrations have erupted across the country.” The archived version of the video can be seen here.

The video posted on May 26 has garnered 3229 likes, 44 users have shared it and 199 people have commented on it until the time of publishing this article.

Fact Check /Verification

To check the authenticity of the claim made in the viral video, Newschecker looked up news reports about any decision or plan to reshuffle the government among the political parties. We also checked the social media pages of Rastriya Swatantra Party. However, we didn’t find any reports of political parties mulling changing the government.

Then we took a keyframe from the first viral video and conducted a reverse search which threw up several results. On checking a news article published on Nepaltimes.com online on November 24, 2022, we found that the image carried by the article exactly matched the viral video. The article was about Rabi Lamichhane’s victory in the federal parliament election from Chitwan-2 held on November 20 elections.  

Earlier on December 25, Rabi Lamichhane had been appointed as Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister after his party emerged as the fourth largest party following a power-sharing agreement among the seven parties who came together to form a coalition government. But the coalition didn’t last long as Lamichhane stepped down on January 27 after the Supreme Court annulled his status as a lawmaker over his citizenship controversy. We found that the viral video has falsely linked the seven-party coalition led by Pushpa Kamal Dahal in the old context.

Further, we took a keyframe of Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal’s image from the second viral image and conducted a reverse image search on it. The results led us to an article published on baahrakhari.com online on December 31, 2022. The image carried by the news article exactly matched the image used in the second viral video.

Analysing the current political scenario of Nepal, we can say the ongoing official India visit of incumbent Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal hammers home the fact that there will be no change of guards in the immediate future. Likewise, the Rastriya Swatantra Party had recently announced to withdraw its support for the government after the re-election of Rabi Lamichhane and election of another lawmaker Swarnim Wagle from Tanahun in the April 23 by-election.

Thus, our findings clearly indicate that there are no plans or agreement among Nepal’s major political parties to appoint Rabi Lamichhane as the new Prime Minister.

Conclusion

The viral videos claiming that RSP President Rabi Lamichhane has been chosen to take the government leadership by a seven-party coalition and that Prime Minister Puspa Kamal Dahal has resigned are misleading.

Result: False

 Sources
The Kathmandu Post online, 27 January, 2022
Nepal Times online, 24 Nov, 2022
Baahrakhari.com, 31 Dec, 2022


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Sanjeeb Phuyal is the Nepali Editor of Newschecker based in Kathmandu, Nepal. He brings over a decade of experience writing and editing news. In his previous stint, he worked as online editor for The Kathmandu Post. With the growth of social media platforms—and the ever-growing competition amongst media outlets to churn out breaking news, he feels that fact-checking every piece of information has become more essential today than ever before.

Sanjeeb Phuyal
Sanjeeb Phuyal
Sanjeeb Phuyal is the Nepali Editor of Newschecker based in Kathmandu, Nepal. He brings over a decade of experience writing and editing news. In his previous stint, he worked as online editor for The Kathmandu Post. With the growth of social media platforms—and the ever-growing competition amongst media outlets to churn out breaking news, he feels that fact-checking every piece of information has become more essential today than ever before.

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