PM ELECTION Another Futile Bid

As expected, the 13th bid to elect the prime minister at the Legislature Parliament became just another futile exercise <br>A CORRESSPONDENT

Nov. 1, 2010, 5:45 p.m. Published in Magazine Issue: Vol. 04 No.-09 Oct 29 2010 (Kartik 12, 2067)

Nepal’s political crisis seems to be complicating as it is now more uncertain as to how long the caretaker government led by Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal will remain in office.

Following the withdrawal by UCPN-Maoist leader Puspa Kamal Dahal Prachanda from the prime ministerial race at the Legislature Parliament, the sole candidate Ram Chandra Poudel of Nepali Congress is in a fruitless election fray.

As there is no constitutional provision to force NC leader Poudel to withdraw his candidacy, leaders of two major political parties CPN-UML and UCPN-Maoist have no option other than to wait until NC leader Poudel calls he quits on his own.

NC has already made it clear that its candidate will not withdraw his candidacy as long as Maoists have their combatants with them.

“Our party has a clear stand. Our candidate will fight till the last minute to save the Loktantra,” said newly elected NC leader Sushil Koirala, who appointed his rival NC leader Sher Bahadur Deuba as a central committee member. Whatever their internal differences, NC leaders are firmly behind leader Poudel.

NC parliamentary party leader Poudel failed to get elected as the prime minister in the thirteenth round of election conducted in the Legislature Parliament on Tuesday.

Poudel secured 98 votes while two votes were cast against him. Other 44 lawmakers went for 'no vote' option in the ballot paper. Altogether 144 lawmakers participated in the voting.

Although the Business Advisory Council has set the next round of PM elections for October 29 at 3 pm, it is almost certain that Poudel will not secure the minimum votes needed to become the prime minister.

“If Nepali Congress wants the peace process to conclude and promulgation of the new constitution, our leader Prachanda must be given a chance to form an all party government,” said Narayankaji Shrestha, deputy leader of UCPN-Maoist.

The House committee announced the new schedule even before the voting took place as it was certain that Poudel would be handed defeat this time too.

The NC has turned down numerous calls from the UCPN (Maoist) and CPN (UML), which together form a majority in the House, to quit the 'futile' election and sit for dialogue for a government of national unity. “There is no question to compromise with democracy,” said Poudel. “My candidacy is against new authoritarianism.”


 

Poudel secured 98 votes while two votes were cast against him. Other 44 lawmakers went for 'no vote' option in the ballot paper. Altogether 144 lawmakers participated in the voting.

Although the Business Advisory Council has set the next round of PM elections for October 29 at 3 pm, it is almost certain that Poudel will not secure the minimum votes needed to become the prime minister.

“If Nepali Congress wants the peace process to conclude and promulgation of the new constitution, our leader Prachanda must be given a chance to form an all party government,” said Narayankaji Shrestha, deputy leader of UCPN-Maoist.

The House committee announced the new schedule even before the voting took place as it was certain that Poudel would be handed defeat this time too.

The NC has turned down numerous calls from the UCPN (Maoist) and CPN (UML), which together form a majority in the House, to quit the 'futile' election and sit for dialogue for a government of national unity. “There is no question to compromise with democracy,” said Poudel. “My candidacy is against new authoritarianism.”


 

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