Nepal’s Prime Minister Prachanda wins confidence vote

Kathmandu, Jan 10 (EFE).- Nepalese Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal aka Prachanda sailed through a vote of confidence on Tuesday, cementing his leadership after a general election in November last year threw a hung verdict.

Only two parliamentarians voted against him in the 275-member parliament.

The 68-year-old Prachanda, who has held the office two times before, won 268 votes—exceeding the 138 required—with only two votes against him, Pashupati Shamsher Rana, the oldest lawmaker, told the parliament after the voting process.

Rana being the senior most representative conducted the House proceedings until the speaker and deputy speakers are elected.

Three lawmakers were absent and one has been suspended.

In a surprising political development, the largest political party Nepali Congress decided to support Prachanda, indicating that politics still remains on shaky ground.

Since its transition to a parliamentary democracy in the 1990s and a republic in 2008, Nepal has seen 33 governments in 32 years.

Political analyst Vijay Kant Karna told Efe that the Nepali Congress, the main opposition party’s decision to support the ruling party is a sign of political disarray.

“The support of Nepali Congress to the ruling party entails there is no opposition. If there is no opposition party to mount pressure on the ruling party, it obviously weakens the democracy,” said Karna.

“This is totally against the true democratic culture.”

Prachanda, who once led the decade-long civil war that killed nearly 17,000 people, was in a pre-election alliance with ex-Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba, the head of the Nepali Congress.

The Nepali Congress won the largest number of seats in the general election held on November 20 last year.

However, Prachanda walked out of the alliance at the last moment, after Deuba turned down his demand for the prime minister’s post.

With the support of seven parties and three independent candidates, Prachanda, the chairman of the Maoist Center, was appointed as Nepal’s 44th prime minister on December 25.

He was sworn in as the prime minister for the third time on December 26.

Before the vote of confidence, Prachanda said the grievances of the people and the problem that the country was facing should be sorted out in unity. “It doesn’t matter if it’s ruling or the opposition party.”

On Monday, Dahal visited Congress head Deuba at his residence seeking support. EFE


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