President Bidya Devi Bhandari on Monday called on Nepal’s political parties to form a new government based on majority votes after repeated bids to install a regime on the basis of consensus failed.
Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist Centre chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal “Prachanda”, who is supported by the Nepali Congress, the largest party in the House, is poised to become the new premier.
The election of a new prime minister became necessary after the incumbent, KP Sharma Oli, resigned on July 24 after opposition parties moved a no-confidence motion against him.
The president’s office sent a letter to Parliament, urging it to begin the process for electing a new prime minister on the basis of majority as the seven-day deadline given to political parties for forming a consensus government expired on Sunday.
Babin Sharma, press adviser to the speaker, told journalists the speaker had received a letter from the president’s office regarding the election of the next prime minister in line with Articles 305 and 299(3) of the Constitution.
The Parliament is preparing to begin the election procedure on Wednesday. A panel headed by the secretary general of Parliament will conduct the polls.
According to parliamentary procedure, aspiring candidates have to register their nominations on Tuesday.
The second largest party, Communist Party of Nepal-Unified Marxist-Leninist (CPN-UML), will also field a candidate for the post. Deputy parliamentary party leader and former speaker Subash Chandra Nembang is expected to contest the election.
Oli, who is also chairman of CPN-UML, is unlikely to contest.
“Former speaker Nembang will contest from our party,” said CPN-UML lawmaker Rabindra Adhikari.
Prachanda is unlikely to face problems in his bid to make a comeback as the prime minister. He needs 298 votes in the 595-member Parliament to win but his aides believe he will secure 366 votes.
Besides the Nepali Congress and the Maoists, an alliance of parties from the Madhes region bordering India and several other smaller parties are expected to vote for Prachanda.