Nepal PM poll postponed, political parties set for budget deal

Nepal`s 17th run-off poll for a new PM was put off on Monday with no clear winner expected in parliament as in the previous series of elections, but the political parties inched closer to a deal to approve the delayed budget.

Kathmandu: Nepal`s 17th run-off poll for
a new prime minister was put off on Monday with no clear winner
expected in parliament as in the previous series of elections,
but the political parties inched closer to a deal to approve
the delayed budget amid fears of a financial crisis.

65-year-old Nepali Congress leader Ram Chandra
Poudyal, the sole candidate who is adamant over not quitting
the prime ministerial race, has failed to garner a majority in
Parliament despite sixteen rounds of polls since the June 30
resignation of premier Madhav Kumar Nepal.

A meeting of Business Advisory Committee (BAC) in
Parliament today decided to postponement the election to
November 19.

The BAC meeting held today decided to postpone the
poll for the prime minister, Law Minister Prem Bahadur Singh
was quoted as saying by myrepublica online, the website of
Republica newspaper today.

As per Nepal`s interim constitution, the election
process should continue till a new leader is elected in the
parliament through a simple majority of 301 vote.

The next BAC meeting will be held on November 19 when
the new budget will be tabled in the parliament, he said.

Earlier a key meeting of the three major political
parties -- main opposition Unified CPN (Maoist), and the two
largest parties in the caretaker government, Nepali Congress
(NC) and CPN-UML had decided to defer the futile election for
a new leader.

The four-and-a-half months standoff has stalled the
country`s peace process and delayed the annual budget,
bringing the nation on the brink of a financial crisis.

The caretaker government aims to push the annual
budget later this week amid warnings that it is running out of
money, finance ministry officials said.

They have warned that the country would face a severe
crisis if the budget is not passed soon.

According to the ministry, the budget currently
available in state coffers is not sufficient even for the
essential services for the month of November.

The Parliament approved an interim budget to allow the
caretaker government to run day-to-day activities for four
months and pay civil servants, but that expires tomorrow.

Main opposition CPN-Maoist, which ended its
decade-long civil war in 2006, is the single largest party
with 238 seats, while Nepali Congress (NC) has 114 members in
the House.

The CPN-UML, the third largest party with a strength
of 109 and the Madhesi alliance with the combined strength of
some 80 lawmakers and other smaller parties have called for a
national government.

The Maoists, CPN-UML and the Madhesi alliance have
been staying away from the election process as they want the
formation of a national government.

Subhash Nemwang, the Speaker of the Parliament, has
stepped up consultations with leaders of various political
parties to forge a consensus after he was ordered by the
Supreme Court to intervene in the standoff over the election
of a new leader and the budget.

PTI

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. You can find out more by clicking this link

Close