Parliament session to elect Nepal PM adjourned amid deadlock
Last Updated: Sunday, December 19, 2010, 16:46
Kathmandu: Nepal's special session of parliament to elect a new prime minister was adjourned on Sunday after a brief meeting, amid a political deadlock among the ruling alliance and the main Opposition Maoists.

The Special Session of the Parliament, which just lasted for less than 10 minutes, was adjourned after Speaker Subash Nemwang announced the next House sitting for December 23.

Earlier today, the Business Advisory Committee (BAC) of the parliament decided to hold the next House session on December 23, the nepalnews online said.

Acting on a request from 187 Maoist lawmakers, President Ram Baran Yadav last week called a session of Parliament from today in a bid to break the political deadlock over failure of lawmakers to elect a new leader despite 16 rounds of polls since Madhav Kumar Nepal quit on June 30.

During the brief session today, Nemwang read out the letter from the President's office.

The Speaker also informed the lawmakers that the House will discuss two proposals of the Unified CPN (Maoist) on December 23 and 24, including one seeking a fresh process for electing the prime minister and scrapping the candidature of Nepali Congress leader Ram Chandra Poudyal, the sole candidate for the top post, the report said.

Maoist party Vice Chairman Baburam Bhattarai said the parties have reached an understanding to hold discussions for consensus.

"We will try to forge consensus by December 23," Bhattarai was quoted as saying by the Kantipur online.

Nepal's ruling alliance yesterday had decided to oppose the Maoists' plan to table a motion to begin a fresh process to elect the Prime Minister.

CPN-Maoist, which ended its decade-long civil war in 2006, is the single largest party with 238 seats, while Nepali Congress (NC) has 114 members in the House.

The CPN-UML, the third largest party with a strength of 109 and the Madhesi alliance with the combined strength of some 80 lawmakers and other smaller parties have called for a national government.

The deadlock over the election of the prime minister comes amid a landmark Supreme Court ruling that lawmakers in parliament cannot choose to remain neutral or abstain from from casting their votes in the run-off poll.

In a series of run-off polls since June 30, the UCPN (Maoist) and CPN (UML) lawmakers have chosen not to vote for a prime minister while Madhesi parties opted to stay neutral.

A special bench of Justices Bal Ram KC, Sushila Karki and Bharat Raj Upreti on Friday ruled that lawmakers attending the parliamentary session during the election for a prime minister cannot remain neutral or desist from casting their votes.


First Published: Sunday, December 19, 2010, 16:46

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