Maoist leader Bhattarai is Nepal`s new PM

57-year-old Bhattarai, who has a PhD from New Delhi`s Jawaharlal Nehru University.

Kathmandu: Maoist leader Dr Baburam
Bhattarai was on Sunday elected Nepal`s new Prime Minister
defeating his Nepali Congress rival RC Poudyal, with the
Terai-based Madhesi alliance extending crucial support to the
former rebel leader.

57-year-old Bhattarai, who has a PhD from New Delhi`s
Jawaharlal Nehru University, polled 340 votes, while Nepali
Congress Parliamentary Party leader Poudyal could secure 235

The United Democratic Madhesi Front (UDMF), the alliance
of Madhesi parties that has emerged as the fourth largest
political force in the Assembly, decided to support Bhattarai.

Most of the smaller fringe parties and the alliance of
Madhesi parties supported Bhattarai, who was elected from the
Constituency No. 2 of Gorkha with a landslide victory in 2008.

Bhattarai was the deputy prime Minister and finance
minister in the government led by Maoist Chairman Prachanda in

No party holds a majority in the Constituent
Assembly, which acts as the country`s interim parliament.

The UCPN-Maoist, which has 236 seats in the Constituent
Assembly, is the largest party in the House. The second
largest Nepali Congress, the main opposition, has 114 members
followed by CPN-UML, which has 107 members.

Caretaker Prime Minister Jhal Nath Khanal, who was
elected after 17 rounds of polls in Parliament over a period
of seven months on February 3, resigned on August 14 for
failing to make "concrete" process in the peace process.

The CPN-UML, the third largest party, has decided
to back Nepali Congress leader Poudyal.

The Parliament was directed by President Ram Baran Yadav
to elect a new Prime Minister through majority vote after
parties failed to nominate a consensus candidate to lead a
national unity government.

The parliament, which was formed in 2008 after a
popular election, has failed to fulfil its main function to
push forward the peace process and draft a new constitution
though its term was extended twice, the latest on May 29 which
is set expire at the end of this month.

The Maoists have also floated a peace proposal to
complete the integration of their former combatants with the
security forces within 45 days.

The Nepali Congress has unveiled an 11-point
concept paper which envisages giving a momentum to the stalled
peace process, drafting a new constitution and addressing the
outstanding issues linked to the integration of the former
Maoists combatants, including modality, norms and standards
and rank harmonization of the former PLA fighters.


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