Nepal to elect new PM through voting in Parliament on Sunday

Nepal's new Prime Minister will be elected on Sunday through voting in Parliament after political parties failed to forge consensus, it was announced on Friday, amid continued protests and blockade of a key border trade point with India over the country's new Constitution.

Kathmandu: Nepal's new Prime Minister will be elected on Sunday through voting in Parliament after political parties failed to forge consensus, it was announced on Friday, amid continued protests and blockade of a key border trade point with India over the country's new Constitution.

Nepalese President Dr Ram Baran Yadav today called the political parties to begin the process of electing a new Prime Minister through majority voting process.

The President has asked the political parties represented in the Legislative Parliament to conduct election of the Prime Minister through majority voting as per the provisions of Nepal's new Constitution after the deadline to elect the Premier through consensus ended yesterday, according to a notice issued by the President's office.

Parliament Speaker Subhas Nembang has informed the Parliament that the election for the post of the Prime Minister will be held on Sunday morning.

The political parties have to submit the names of their respective candidates for the post of the Prime Minister tomorrow.

The process of electing a new Premier was initiated after Prime Minister Sushil Koirala decided to quit the top post last week after the promulgation of the new Constitution.

The second-largest party in the Parliament -- Communist Party of Nepal - Unified Marxist Leninist (CPN-UML) -- has chosen its chairman Khadga Prasad Oli as its candidate for the premiership.

The Unified CPN-Maoist led by Prachanda and some other fringe parties have also assured backing to Oli's candidature.

However, the Nepali Congress, the largest party in Parliament, is yet to decide whether to support Oli or to put forward its own candidate for the post of the Prime Minister.

The party's Central Working Committee today decided to give the responsibility of deciding the matter to three senior leaders of the party -- incumbent Prime Minister and party president Koirala, former Prime Minister and senior leader Sher Bahadur Deuba and Vice president Ramchandra Poudyal, according to party sources.

The election of the Prime Minister comes even as the new Constitution, which was unveiled on September 20 after seven years of negotiations, is being opposed by Madhesi groups.

The agitating Madhesi Front claims that the Constitution does not guarantee enough rights and representation to the Madhesi and Tharu communities residing in southern Nepal.

Madhesis are Indian-origin inhabitants of the Terai region bordering India who are opposed to splitting Nepal into seven provinces.

At least 40 people have died in over a month of clashes between police and protesters from the Madhesi and Tharu communities and ethnic minorities. 

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