Poudyal rules out quitting from Nepal PM race

Poudyal ruled out quitting PM race to pave way for a national consensus government in Nepal.

Kathmandu; Nepali Congress Vice-President R C Poudyal today ruled out quitting the prime ministerial race to pave the way for the formation of a national consensus government in Nepal after Maoist chief Prachanda withdrew from the contest following a deal with the largest communist party.

Ruling out the possibility of withdrawal his candidacy from prime minister?s race in the eighth round of polls, Poudyal said Nepali Congress cannot take a decision on pulling
out from the next round of voting in Parliament as his party`s Central Committee meeting cannot take place before September 26.
He said consensus would not be possible unless an agreement is reached among the political parties on the issues of peace process, constitution-drafting and government

Political understanding on how to take the peace process to its conclusion and draft constitution as well as who will lead a new government is essential before quitting
the prime ministerial election process and starting a new process for government formation, he told reporters at 12th general convention of the party in the capital.
The Parliamentary Party leader of the Nepali Congress, which is the second largest party in the country, said leaders should not talk about consensus in speeches, they should
implement it in practice.

Poudyal reaction comes in the wake of Prachanda`s decision to withdraw from the race for the top post following his failure to get majority support in Parliament seven times
in a row.

Prachanda withdrew after a deal with the CPN-UML, paving the way for formation of a national consensus government in Nepal. Nearly three months after the 22-party coalition led by Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal collapsed, seven rounds of poll failed to elect a new leader, with both Prachanda and 65-year-old Poudyal unable to get majority support of the lawmakers in the 601-member Constituent Assembly.

55-year-old former prime minister Prachanda and CPN-UML president Jhala Nath Khanal last week reached a deal that the Maoists would withdraw from the Prime Ministerial race and both the parties would not take part in the next round of election for the post on September 26.

Khanal, who was the CPN-UML candidate, withdrew from the race during the first round of voting on July 21 as he could not muster the two-thirds majority support in the House.
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 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 and remained neutral.