Decks were cleared on Sunday for CPN-UML leader Madhav Kumar to be the next Prime Minister of Nepal as a key Madhesi party extended support to his group for government formation,isolating the Maoists who too had been attempting to cobble up a coalition of their own.
The Madhesi People’s Rights Forum (MPRF),which has 53 seats in the 601-strong Constituent Assembly,expressed its backing for CPN-UML in a letter to Nepal,who is also supported by the second largest party Nepali Congress,Shanker Pokharel,central member of the CPN-UML,said.
“Now,we have got support from all political parties (in the assembly) except the Unified CPN-Maoist which has 238 seats,” he said.
CPN-UML,the third largest party,has 108 members while Nepali Congress has 112 seats in the Constituent Assembly,where a total of 25 parties have their representatives.
With all groups except Maoists supporting the CPN-UML,the Communist party has a total of 363 seats,62 more than a simple majority,to stake its claim for government formation.
The MPRF,the largest Madhesi party which held the key to power,made its stance clear after days of consultations within the party. Even,Maoists were counting on them.
“Our party President Upendera Yadav has handed over letter expressing support from party’s 53 MPs to CPN-UMLcandidate Nepal,” MPRF central member Rameshwor Ray Yadav said.
The MPRF’s decision to back CPN-UML broke the nearly two week-long political deadlock,which was created following Premier Prachanda’s resignation in the wake of differences with President Ram Baran Yadav over the sacking of army chief Gen Rukmangad Katawal by the Maoist government.
“Now we will formally hand over the signatures of all those members of the Constituent Assembly (who are with CPN-UML) to its Chairman and the process of formation of the new government will begin from tomorrow,” Pokharel said.
President Yadav had asked political parties two weeks ago to show majority support to elect a new Premier and form government after they failed to reach consensus on the issue.
CPN-UML leader Nepal,56,will be the third communist Prime Minister of the country after Manmohan Adhikari,who too belonged to the same party,and Maoist chief Prachanda.
Nepal,the former deputy premier and head of the main Constitution Drafting Committee,joined the Communist Party of Nepal in 1969 and became a founding and politburo member of CPN-UML in 1978.
He also participated in the 1990 movement for restoration of democracy under the banner of the United Left Front of Nepal. He was CPN-UML General Secretary from 1993 to 2008 and is currently its Standing Committee member.
Nepal,who actively took part in the People’s Movement of 2006,is one of the leaders who put their signatures in the 12-point agreement between the Maoists and Nepalese parties in Delhi in November 2005,which brought the former rebels to the mainstream politics.
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