Poudyal determined to stay in PM race amid no clear winner

Ram Chandra Poudyal, the Nepali Congress candidate for the Prime Minister`s post, underlined his determination to remain in the race even as no clear winner was expected to emerge in the sixth round of voting in parliament.

Last Updated: Sep 02, 2010, 21:17 PM IST

Kathmandu: Ram Chandra Poudyal, the
Nepali Congress candidate for the Prime Minister`s post, today
underlined his determination to remain in the race even as no
clear winner was expected to emerge in the sixth round of
voting in parliament on Sunday.

Nepal`s lawmakers have rejected Poudyal and his rival
Maoist chief Prachanda in five rounds of vote since Prime
Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal quit on June 30 amid intense
pressure from the former rebels, plunging the country into a
deeper political crisis in the absence of a government.

Poudyal, the Nepali Congress Vice president, today
said his party will not withdraw from the prime ministerial
race.

After a parliamentary party meeting, Poudyal said it
was decided to appeal for support for the Nepali Congress in
next round of voting on Sunday.

"We also decided to request all those who were neutral
during the election to vote for us," he added.

Reacting to Maoist chief Prachanda`s statement
yesterday that he would make some "sacrifices," if he failed
to get elected during the sixth round of election, Poudyal
said: "Maoists should not sacrifice anything, if they leave
the politics of violence, it would be enough."

Prachanda, however, did not elaborate on what he meant
by "sacrifices".

On August 23, 55-year-old Prachanda, a former Prime
Minister, had managed to bag only 246 votes, with 111 members
opposing him.

Poudyal, 65, also failed to touch the magic figure of
301, receiving just 124 votes in favour and 243 against,
forcing the House to fix another round of voting for September
5.

Out of the total 563 lawmakers who participated in the
voting, 206 members, mostly from CPN-UML and the Terai-based
Madhesi parties, remained neutral and abstained from voting.

The CPN-UML with the strength of 109 and the Madhesi
alliance with the combine strength of 84 and other smaller
parties have remained neutral and called for a national
government.

CPN-Maoist, which ended its decade-long civil war in
2006, is the single largest party with 238 seats in the
601-member Constituent Assembly, while Nepali Congress has 114
members in the House whose two-year term was extended by one
year on May 28.

The country has been in political limbo since the
June 30 resignation of Nepal, who is currently heading a
caretaker government.

PTI