Nepali Cong pulls out Poudyal from PM poll in consensus bid

Nepali Congress withdrew the sole candidate R C Poudyal from the 17th run-off poll for a new prime minister.

Last Updated: Jan 13, 2011, 00:44 AM IST

Kathmandu: Nepali Congress on Wednesday withdrew
the sole candidate R C Poudyal from the 17th run-off poll for
a new prime minister, amid intense pressure from its allies
and the main Opposition in a bid to end the over six months
long deadlock in Nepal.

An emergency meeting of the party`s powerful Central
Working Committee (CWC) took the decision to formally withdraw
Poudyal, said Prakash Man Singh, the party General Secretary.

He said the party took the decision keeping in mind
the effort to push forward the peace process and drafting of a
new constitution.

"I have decided to withdraw my candidacy in order to
resolve the political crisis through cooperation and
collaboration," Poudyal told PTI.

"We want to conclude the peace process and complete
the task of drafting the new constitution by forging
understanding and collaboration among political parties," he
said.

"My resignation will pave way for a fresh start of
Prime Ministerial election and formation of a government on
the basis of consensus," he said.

Nepali Congress, the second largest party, formally
decided to withdraw Poudyal amid intense pressure from its key
coalition partner CPN-UML, main opposition UCPN (Maoist) and
from within the party in a bid to build a consensus to end the
deadlock that has derailed the 2006 peace process.

The crucial decision came as the party was preparing
for the 17th round of election in Parliament for a new leader.

During the brief Parliament session today, which
started some four hours late, former Prime Minister and Nepali
Congress leader Sher Bahadur Deuba announced the withdrawal of
Poudyal through a motion.

After Poudyal?s candidacy was withdrawn during the 15
minute session, Speaker Subhash Nembwang adjourned the House.

He also announced that he would begin a new election process
after deliberating on the issues at Parliamentary Business
Advisory Committee (BAC), media report said.

Nepali Congress decision to withdraw its candidate
comes after the CPN-UML decided to vote against Poudyal.

Caretaker Prime Minister Madhav Nepal had appealed to the
Nepali Congress leadership to withdraw Poudyal so as to create
an environment for consensus.

Earlier, Deputy Prime Minister Sujata Koirala said
that the party will withdraw Poudyal.

"Nepali Congress should be prepared to join government
under the leadership of other parties if it is not possible to
form a new government under its leadership," Koirala said.

Koirala, who is also member of the powerful Central
Working Committee (CWC), said Nepali Congress should withdraw
its candidacy for "consensus" and "cooperation" with other
parties.

Koirala, however, ruled out the possibility of
Maoist-led government unless the latter gives up its arms and
integrates its paramilitary armed cadres housed in different
UN-monitored camps in the country.

Poudyal had failed to secure a majority in 16 rounds
of run-off polls in the Assembly, which functions as the
country`s interim parliament.

PTI