Nepal set for four-way fight in tomorrow`s PM poll

Prachanda, Poudyal and Khanal had earlier also contested the elections, while Gachhedar has joined the fray for the first time.

Updated: Feb 02, 2011, 20:53 PM IST

Kathmandu: A key party of Indian-origin people
from Nepal`s southern Terai plains Wednesday fielded its candidate
for the post of Premier at the last minute, a move that will
turn tomorrow`s 17th round of polls into a four-corner contest
also involving Maoist chief Prachanda and candidates from NC
and CPN-UML.

Deputy Prime Minister Bijay Kumar Gachhedar of the
Madhesi People`s Rights Forum - Democratic (MPRF-D) filed his
nomination papers in a surprise move shortly before the 4 pm
deadline for the purpose expired. Gachhedar has support from
two other Madhesi parties.

From the single largest party UCPN-Maoist, its Chairman
Prachanda filed his nomination papers, while Nepali Congress
(NC) again fielded Ram Chandra Poudyal for the top post.

CPN-UML of caretaker Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal
put up its President Jhala Nath Khanal for tomorrow`s
elections, seven months after Premier Nepal resigned under
intense Maoist pressure.

President Ram Baran Yadav had last week directed
Parliament to begin a fresh process for the election of Prime
Minister on the basis of majority vote as political parties
had failed to hammer out a deal to form a consensus
government.

Prachanda, Poudyal and Khanal had earlier also contested
the elections, while Gachhedar has joined the fray for the
first time.

To get elected for the post, a candidate requires at
least 300 votes in the 601-member Constituent Assembly.

Another two rounds of elections, if required, will be
held on February 5 and 6 respectively.

President Yadav`s second deadline to form a national
consensus government had expired on January 26, following 16
rounds of polls for the Premier`s post which did not produce a
winner.

Maoists, who gave up insurgency and joined mainstream
politics in 2006, have 238 seats in Parliament while NC has
113 and CPN-UML 108.

The combined strength of the Madhesi parties is 83.

PTI

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