The parliamentary voting to elect veteran politician Sher Bahadur Deuba as the 40th prime minister of Nepal had to be postponed until Tuesday as the main political parties today failed to forge a consensus to conduct the House proceedings. The main opposition Communist Party of Nepal-Unified Marxist-Leninist (CPM-UML) led by former prime minister KP Sharma Oli had threatened to obstruct the House proceedings against the re-polling ordered in Bharatpur Metropolitan City. The daughter of caretaker Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’, Renu Dahal, is contesting for the post of mayor from the constituency. The counting of the votes was suspended after members of her party – CPN (Maoist Centre) – allegedly tore up ballots during the process on the night of May 28. The Election Commission has ordered a repolling there.
The local polls in Nepal are being held for the first time in 20 years. The next and final phase of the local polls is set for June 14, when the restive southern Terai region home to the ethnic Madhesi population, will vote.
The House meeting was initially slated for 11 am, then it was rescheduled to 3 pm, but Speaker Onsari Gharti Magar finally postponed the meeting until Tuesday after CPN-UML warned it would obstruct the proceedings over the EC decision. Top political leaders today held talks at the parliament building to end the deadlock and conduct the voting to elect Deuba as the 40th prime minister of Nepal’s young democracy. But with the House meeting postponed, Deuba will now have to wait until Tuesday to be elected as prime minister. Deuba, president of the Nepali Congress (NC), is the only candidate in the ra , after CPN-UML decided not to contest.
The voting is a mere formality to pave his way for the position, according to the Kathmandu Post.
Prachanda, the outgoing prime minister proposed Deuba’s name and senior NC leader Ram Chandra Poudel seconded the proposal to elect him on the basis of majority. Deuba, 70, needs to secure 297 votes in the 593-member- strong parliament to prove his majority. As the NC-Maoist Centre Alliance enjoys 287 seats in Parliament and has the support of four other parties having 21 seats, it looks plain sailing for Deuba, the report in the daily said.
Deuba served as the prime minister from 1995 to 1997, from 2001 to 2002, and from 2004 to 2005. Prachanda resigned on May 24 after a brief stint of nine months, honoring a power-sharing agreement with the ruling coalition partner Nepali Congress to hand over the country’s leadership to the largest party in Parliament.