Madhav Kumar Nepal's government lacks credibility due to the second-rank leaders sent to it, including many who did not win elections. But it is legitimate and appointed according to parliamentary practice by a majority in the house.
"No one need take Maoist propaganda of its illegitimacy or lack of longevity seriously," said one senior cabinet member.
Indeed, independent observers have seen a consolidation taking place, albeit slowly. With the full backing of India and western powers, pressure was brought to bear on the Maoists to finally allow parliament to function.
Chairman Dahal earned praise for following parliamentary procedure by stepping down on 4 May, but squandered it all by not letting the house function for two months. It was an act of diminishing returns, which is why the Maoists finally allowed the president to give his speech and the budget to be read.
Nepalis need law and order restored and that can only come with political stability at the centre. "For that the Maoists need to stop playing spoilsport," said one policy adviser at Baluwatar.
And it's not just the Maoists, the UML party leadership of Jhalanath Khanal is lukewarm towards the government led by his own comrade, Madhav Nepal. Indeed, the NC is more supportive of Nepal than Khanal is. There is a history of petulance within the party, and its ministers in government don't seem to have a sense of destiny. The Maoists, of course, could lead the government if they could muster the numbers. But it's no big embarrassment in a parliamentary democracy to join as deputy prime minister for the sake of the peace process.