Nepal’s parliament meets new PM Prachanda

PrachandaMNA International Desk: Nepal’s parliament meets on Wednesday in a crucial session that is estimated to confirm former Maoist rebel chief Prachanda as new PM (prime minister) after K.P. Oli stepped down to avoid a no-confidence motion.

The 61-year-old CPN-Maoist Centre president’s application was proposed by Nepali Congress president Sher Bahadur Deuba, which was seconded by senior Maoist leader Krishna Bahadur Mahara.

However, Nepali Congress and CPN Maoist Centre contracted a three- point agreement with the Madhesi Front to protected support from the Madhesi parties for their bid to form a new government led by Prachanda, the only official candidate for the race.

Out of a total 573 vote cast, Prachanda got 363 votes in flavour with 210 voting against him, Gharti Magar declared in Parliament.

Prachanda’s win comes after the support extended by the Nepali Congress-the single-largest group in Parliament-and the Terai-based regional grouping Madhesi Morcha.

Prachanda’s election as Prime Minister marked his return to the post for the second time after eight years. He was first elected Prime Minister in 2008.

Nepal has been hindered for years in political instability, and the new leader will be its 24th prime minister after weeks of deadly protests established multi-party democracy in 1990.

Under a widely reported power-sharing deal, Sher Bahadur Deuba is expected to take over from Prachanda before Nepal holds a general election at the beginning of 2018. Party officials have declined to comment.

Political change in Nepal, which has great possible to produce hydroelectric power, is closely watched by China and India as they vie for influence over the country that is home to Mount Everest and the birthplace of Lord Buddha.

India is blamed in Nepal for imposing a blockade on fuel and essential goods last year following protests by the Madhesi minority against Nepal’s first post-monarchy constitution, an accusation India denies.

The Madhesi, who mostly live on the southern plains and have historical and family ties to India, have protested against the charter saying it weakens their say in the central government by dividing their homeland into several provinces.

The new leader faces the task of rebuilding homes, roads and monuments destroyed by earthquakes that killed 9,000 people last year as well as oversee settlement of war crimes cases against the Maoists and the security forces.


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