Prachanda heads for Malaysia amid Nepal`s poll uncertainty
Last Updated: Friday, October 01, 2010, 20:14
Kathmandu: Maoist chief Prachanda is heading for Malaysia amid the political and financial crisis in Nepal following the repeated failure of Parliament to elect a new prime minister for the last three months.

Prachanda, the chairman of the main opposition Unified CPN-Maoist, will leave Kathmandu for Malaysia on a private visit tomorrow.

He will attend a seminar on development issues hosted by the Asia Public Exchange and Cooperation Foundation, Narayankaji Shrestha, vice president of the party, said without giving further details.

The Maoist supremo is accompanied by his party's foreign department chief Krishna Bahadur Mahara, who has been in the media glare for being linked to a "bribery" audio tape.

In the tape, Mahara was reportedly heard asking a Chinese official for Rs 50 crore, apparently for weaning away Madhesi lawmakers ahead of the seventh round prime ministerial run-off.

The Maoists, who dismissed the allegation, claimed that it is an attempt at character assassination.

Soon after returning from Malaysia, Prachanda is scheduled to visit China to attend the conclusion of Shanghai Expo 2010 at the invitation of the Chinese government.

The visits takes place even as the the country is faced with uncertainty following the failure to elect a new prime minister, three months after Madhav Kumar Nepal quit the top post.

Nepal has failed to pass its budget amid the failure to put in place a new government.

Prachanda, who was in the race for the post of the prime minister, was forced to quit on September 17 following his failure to get majority support in Parliament seven times in a row.

Although the purpose of the visit to Shanghai, at the invitation of the Chinese government, is to attend the Shanghai Expo, it is regarded here as significant due to its crucial timing.

President Dr Ram Baran Yadav is also planning to visit Shanghai at the same time to attend the closing ceremony of the expo.

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


First Published: Friday, October 01, 2010, 20:14

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