No end to uncertainty as Poudyal fails again in Nepal PM race

Nepali Congress leader R C Poudyal, the sole candidate for the post of Prime Minister,failed in his ninth attempt in a row to garner a majority in parliament, prolonging Nepal`s political uncertainty.

Kathmandu: Nepali Congress leader R C
Poudyal, the sole candidate for the post of Prime Minister,
today failed in his ninth attempt in a row to garner a
majority in parliament, prolonging Nepal`s political
uncertainty.

65-year-old Poudyal, secured 105 votes in favour,
while two lawmakers voted against him in the the 601-member
Constituent Assembly. Needing 301 votes for a majority, the
election saw most of the other lawmakers either abstaining or
remaining neutral.

Following Maoist chief Prachanda`s failure to get
majority support in Parliament seven times in a row, he
withdrew from the election on September 17 after a deal with
the CPN-UML in bid to facilitate the formation of a national
consensus government.

Unified CPN (Maoist) and CPN-UML lawmakers did not
participate in the voting process today. The next round of
poll will take place on October 6.

Three months after the 22-party coalition led by Prime
Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal collapsed, nine rounds of poll
have failed to elect a new leader. The country has been
without a government since June 30, when Nepal stood down
under intense pressure from the Maoists.

CPN-Maoist, which ended its decade-long civil war in
2006, is the single largest party with 238 seats in the
Assembly, while Nepali Congress has 114 members in the House
whose two-year term was extended by one year on May 28.
The CPN-UML with the strength of 109 and the Madhesi
alliance with the combine strength of 82 and other smaller
parties have called for a national government.

55-year-old former Prime Minister Prachanda and
CPN-UML president Jhala Nath Khanal reached a deal on
September 17 that the Maoists would withdraw from the Prime
Ministerial race and both the parties would not take part in
the election for the top post.

The major parties had failed to agree on a consensus
candidate for the post of the Prime Minister, leading to the
process of electing a new leader through majority vote in the
Constituent Assembly.

Nepali Congress has ruled out the possibility of
forming the next government under the Maoists` leadership as
the former rebels have not yet laid down arms, managed their
combatants and dissolved the paramilitary organization of its
youth wing, Young Communist League.

PTI

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