Poudyal again rejected; no end in sight for Nepal crisis

Nepal`s Parliament showed little enthusiasm for the candidacy of Nepali Congress leader Ramchandra Poudyal as just 101 lawmakers, mostly from his party, turned up to participate.

Last Updated: Nov 04, 2010, 20:36 PM IST

Kathmandu: Nepal`s Parliament showed little
enthusiasm for the candidacy of Nepali Congress leader
Ramchandra Poudyal as just 101 lawmakers, mostly from his
party, turned up to participate in the 16th round of a yet
another futile prime ministerial election.

The failure of the political parties to resolve the
deadlock means that Madhav Kumar Nepal will continue as the
caretaker Prime Minister until his successor is found.
The sole candidate for Prime Minister -- 65-year-old
Poudyal -- could muster 82 votes in his favour while two votes
went against him.

Out of the total 101 parliamentarians taking part in the
voting, 17 remained neutral.

As many as 498, of the total 599 members, abstained from
the election. Only Nepali Congress and some smaller parties
participated in the voting.

Unified CPN-Maoist, CPN-UML and major Madhesi parties
did not participate in the voting.

The next round of election is scheduled to take place on
November 15 after the festival season.

As per Nepal`s interim constitution, the election
process should continue till a new leader is elected in the
parliament through a simple majority of 301 vote.

According to political analysts, the delay in forming a
new government could derail the 2006 peace process.
Despite a series of polls since June 30, the parliament
has been unable to elect a new leader, prolonging the
leadership crisis in the country. The country has been in
political limbo since the June 30 resignation of Nepal under
intense pressure from the Maoists.

The standoff has stalled the country`s peace process and
delayed the annual budget, bringing the nation on the brink of
a financial crisis.

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withdrawn from the election on September 17 after a deal with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

Main opposition 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.

PTI