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Kingmaker Koirala used communists to dismantle Prachanda`s govt

Last Updated: Saturday, May 23, 2009 - 21:24

Kathmandu, May 23: Nepali Congress party chief
G P Koirala used the communists to dismantle the Maoist
government led by Prachanda to effectively emerge the
kingmaker as veteran CPN-UML leader Madhav Kumar Nepal was
elected the new Prime Minister of the country on Saturday.

Koirala had floated Nepal`s name as the new Prime
Minister to succeed Prachanda after the Maoist supremo quit
over dispute with the President over the reinstatement of the
Army chief.

The Maoists, whose nearly nine-month old government
collapsed after CPN-UML withdrew support, had blocked
Parliament for weeks before allowing the process for the
government formation.

Former premier Koirala had earlier said that the
Prachanda-led Maoist government was like a ripe mango, which
will fall on its own.

I don’t have to topple the government, it will fall by
itself, Koirala had said few months back and his remarks came
true today.

Although the Nepali Congress with 113 seats is the
second largest party in the 601-member Constituent Assembly,
Koirala supported the CPN-UML`s claim for the top post.

Koirala could have staked claim for the Prime
Minister`s post, but he avoided it in order to isolate the
Maoists and teach a lesson to Prachanda, whom the former
premier had blamed for breaching the politics of consensus and
cooperation in the country in the aftermath of the landmark
peace process.

The octogenarian leader, who has not been in the best
of health over the last few months, today attended the
Parliament and proposed Nepal`s name for the top post.
Prachanda was conspicuous by his absence in Parliament today.

In a way Koirala used the communists against the
Maoists to dismantle the Maoist government led by Prachanda.

Koirala had picked Dr Ram Baran Yadav as presidential
candidate last year after the Maoists decided to support
Madhesi leader Ramraja Prasad Singh instead of keeping their
words to back the Nepali Congress chief for the post of the
head of state.

Prachanda had earlier assured Koirala that he would
back him as president for his role in bringing the Maoists
into the mainstream after a 2006 deal. However, Prachanda
refused to support Koirala when the Maoists emerged as the
largest party in the Constituent Assembly polls last year.

Analysts say it was the beginning of distrust between
the two leaders.

Though Koirala, who led the popular 2006 `people`s
movement` that restored multiparty democracy by abolishing the
unpopular 240-year-old monarchy, could not fulfill his dream
of becoming the first post royal president of republic Nepal,
his blessings made Dr. Yadav the head of state.

The 56-year-old CPN-UML leader Nepal, who has backing
of 351 lawmakers in the 601-member Constituent Assembly, was
elected unopposed with the support of a 22-party alliance. The
Maoists boycotted voting. It ended weeks-long political crisis
and easing the Maoists out of power after a short stint.

Nepal will replace Maoist chief Prachanda who resigned
as premier on May 4 after differences with President
Yadav on the issue of sacking of Gen Rukmangad Katawal.

Bureau Report

First Published: Saturday, May 23, 2009 - 21:24

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