Nepal CA to elect Prime Minister on August 15

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Kathmandu, Aug 11 (UNI) With the Maoist unable to form a new government with national consensus, the election of the Prime Minister will be on August 15 at the Constituent Assembly (CA) by a majority of votes.

The nominations for the Prime Minister are to be registered at the CA Secretariat on Thursday as the CA meeting scheduled later today is due to ratify the committee's decision.

Article 38 (2) of the Interim Constitution provides that the Prime Minister shall be elected through a majority of the members of the Legislature-Parliament, if consensus cannot be reached.

President Ram Baran Yadav has sent a letter to the CA chairman to elect the Prime Minister through the CA as the Maoists could not form a consensus government within seven-days time given to them.

The president extended three more days but the political parties could not form the government.

No political party commands a simple majority in the 601 CA elected in April that has abolished the 240-year-old dictatorial monarchy. The largest party in the CA is the Maoists with 226 seats while the Nepali Congress, CPN, UML and MJF are the second, third and fourth with 113, 108 and 52 seats respectively.

The parties are still holding talks to form the government but the differences is said to be over the portfolio allocation.

The Nepali Congress has said it will not join the government unless the defence portfolio is not given to the party as the Congress does not want to give the defence ministry to the Maoists saying that the former rebels cannot head two armies - the national army and their 19,000 combatants living in the UN monitored camps.

UNI XC PD ND1530

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