Kathmandu: Nepalese lawmakers will begin a fresh process next week to elect a new prime minister after 16 failed attempts for nearly seven months, as the squabbling political parties were unable to meet a January 26 deadline
set by the president to put in place a national government.
President Ram Baran Yadav directed the Parliament to
begin a fresh process for the election of a Prime Minister on
the basis of majority vote as political parties had failed to
hammer out a deal to form a consensus government.
Parliament`s Business Advisory Committee, which runs
the prime ministerial poll, announced that the parties would
have to file nominations by February 2, following which fresh
elections would be held February 3.
The second and third round of election, if required,
will be held on February 5 and 6 respectively, it said.
A key meeting of three main political parties -- the
main opposition UCPN (Maoist) and the two ruling alliance
partners CPN (UML) and the Nepali Congress -- yesterday ended
in a deadlock as they failed to agree on a consensus prime
President Yadav`s second deadline to form a national
consensus government expired yesterday.
The Maoists have staked claim to lead the next
coalition during the meeting of the three parties as they were
the largest party in the House.
Maoist chief Prachanda insisted that his party should
be given the chance to form the government as the former
rebels have now put their combatants under the supervision of
the Special Committee of major political parties after the
exit of the UN peace mission.
A candidate must garner the support of more than 50
per cent of the 601-seat Constituent Assembly to win. However,
no party holds a majority in the legislature, and the
deadlocked parties have been unable to form a coalition.
On January 25, a five-member parliamentary committee
headed by Ek Raj Bhandari approved key changes in the rules
for electing a prime minister that would make it mandatory for
lawmakers to vote for a new leader in the House.
Under the recommendations, lawmakers will not be
allowed to abstain, attendance will be mandatory, and the
Parliamentary speaker will be able to disqualify candidates
after three failed rounds of voting.