Maoists seek House session to elect new PM

Unified CPN (Maoist) and seven political parties submitted a petition to President Ram Baran Yadav.

Last Updated: Dec 13, 2010, 00:24 AM IST

Kathmandu: Nepal`s main Opposition Maoists along with seven smaller political parties on Sunday appealed to the country`s President to summon the parliament for a special session to elect a new Prime Minister.

Unified CPN (Maoist) and seven smaller political parties submitted a petition to President Ram Baran Yadav to summon a special session of the parliament, which was adjourned on November 20.

According to the presidential office, CPN (ML-Socialist), Nepal Sadbhavana Party (Anandi Devi), CPN (Ekikrit), Nepali Janta Dal, Janamukti Party and Nepal Rastriya Party joined the main oppositon to demand the House session to elect the new leader after Madhav Kumar Nepal quit on June 30 amid intense pressure from the Maoists.

The petition included the signature of 187 lawmakers. Parliament has failed to elect a new Prime Minister despite 16 rounds of election for nearly six months.
As per the law, the President requires to call the House session within 15 days following a petition by one-fourth of the 601-member lawmakers.

On November 20, the President adjourned the budget session till December 2 after Maoist lawmakers indulged in violence and prevented the Finance Minister from presenting the budget in the House. Later, the government announced the budget through ordinance.

On November 15, the 17th run-off poll for a new prime minister was put off, with no clear winner expected in parliament.

65-year-old Nepali Congress leader Ram Chandra Poudyal, the sole candidate who is adamant over not quitting the prime ministerial race, had failed to garner a majority in Parliament despite sixteen rounds of polls.
The Nepali Congress, the second largest party in the House with 114 members, wants the political parties to agree on a consensus to end the deadlock over the election process before calling a fresh session of parliament.

The Maoists with 238 seats and the CPN-UML, the third largest party with a strength of 109 along with the Madhesi alliance of some 80 lawmakers, have called for a national government.

The Maoists led by Prachanda emerged as the largest single party in the 2008 elections and formed a government, but it later collapsed after a dispute with the President over their attempt to replace the then army chief Rukmangad Katwal.

PTI