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Nepal fails to elect new PM
Last Updated : 22 Jul 2010 10:50:41 AM IST



Nepal's lawmakers on Wednesday failed to elect a new Prime Minister yet again as neither of the two candidates — Unified Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist's (UCPN-M) Prachanda and Nepali Congress's Ramchandra Poudel — could secure the required number of votes .

It was an especially humiliating moment for Maoist chief Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda, who had won a thumping victory in 2008, leading the first Maoist government of Nepal. The third candidate CPN-UML chief Jhalanath Khanal withdrew from the voting process as he failed to secure support of two-third members of the house.

The chairman of Nepal's parliament, Subhash Nembang, announced that Prachanda had won only 242 votes, falling considerably short of the 301 needed to get simple majority in the 601-seat house.

While 114 MPs voted against him, 236 decided to abstain. Ramchandra Poudel secured 124 votes in favour and 235 against.

Speaker Subash Nemwang has summoned the Constituent Assembly on Friday to give lawmakers another chance to elect a new Prime Minister. Nemwang said of Prachanda and Poudel: "Both the contestants were defeated for their failure to secure minimum votes."
The four Terai-based parties decided not to participate in Wednesday's voting to protest against the three major political parties which had not consulted them before fielding their respective candidates.

Since they united against King Gyanendra's army-backed government in 2006 and caused it to collapse, Nepal's parties failed to show further statesmanship and decisiveness.

Nepali politics since the fall of the royal regime has been characterised by infighting and dithering.

It made the parties fail to promulgate a new constitution in time and rehabilitate the guerrilla army of the Maoists, which remains a worrying parallel army four years after the rebels signed a peace accord.


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