Nepal's Constituent Assembly all set to elect its first republic PM

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Kathmandu, August 15 : After months of disagreements over the formation of a new government, Nepal's Constituent Assembly (CA) members are all set to elect the first Prime Minister of the newest republic in the world on Friday.

According to Kantipur, the legislative Constituent Assembly meeting was convened today at the CA hall at New Baneshwor in Kathmandu.

Nepali Congress Vice President Ram Chandra Poudel urged to the members of the Constituent Assembly to support his party candidate former Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba. Party general secretary Bimelandra Nidhi has already announced his support to him.

As per the electoral programmes, Communist Party of Nepal-Unified Marxist-Leninist (CPN-UML) General Secretary Jhala Nath Khanal will forward a proposal to Constituent Assembly chairman Subash Chandra Nemwang to elect Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist (CPN-M) chairman Puspa Kamal Dahal as the new Prime Minister. Madhesi People's Rights Forum chairman Upendra Yadav is expected to support him.

The voting for the Prime Minister's poll will start shortly after the Constituent Assembly meet concludes.

Dahal and Deuba are vying for the Prime Ministerial post.

A total of 594 lawmakers are expected to cast their ballots in today's poll. As per the constitutional provision, it requires a simple majority of the Constituent Assembly to elect the Prime Minister; hence, one of the two candidates must garner a minimum of 298 votes to meet the constitutional prerequisite.

Votes in favour of Deuba will be cast first as he registered his nomination first.

With the formation of a new alliance between the CPN-M, CPN-UML and MPRF on Thursday, it is almost assured that the control of the new government will be in the hands of the Maoist Chairman Dahal.

The largest party in the Constituent Assembly, the Maoists have 227 members in the CA, the UML 108, MPRF 52 and PFN eight members.

Likewise, Terai-Madhes Democratic Party (TMDP), which has 21 seats, and Rastriya Prajatantra Party (RPP), which has eight seats have also decided to vote in favour of the Maoist chairman.

Dahal is certain to win two-thirds of the total votes with the votes of these parties supporting the former rebels.

Meanwhile, fringe parties Nepal Workers and Peasants Party (NWPP) and National People's Front Nepal (NPFN) have announced to boycott the Prime Minister's poll.

On Sunday, the President had called on the Constituent Assembly to start forming a new government through a vote at the CA since the CPN-M failed to form a national consensus government even by the extended deadline.

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

The Constituent Assembly secretariat informed that the new Prime Minister would be elected based on a vote division process if more than one candidate is registered.

ANI

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