Pushpa Kamal Dahal “Prachanda”, the chairman of the Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist Center, was the sole candidate to file his nomination on Tuesday for the election to the post of prime minister.
Nepali Congress president Sher Bahadur Deuba proposed Prachanda’s name while Maoist leader Krishna Bahadur Mahara seconded it. His bid was also backed by Sanghiya Samajbadi Forum Nepal chairman Upendra Yadav.
Earlier, the Communist Party of Nepal-UML, the second largest party in Parliament, had said it would field a candidate for the post but it decided on Tuesday not to file any nominations. It also decided to vote against Prachanda and to sit in the opposition.
Prachanda is now set to with majority votes in the House on Wednesday.
He needs 298 votes in the 595-member Parliament to win. His CPN-Maoist Centre, the third largest party in Parliament with 82 seats, has the backing of the Nepali Congress, the largest party with 207 seats.
The agitating Sanghiya Loktantrik Madhesi Morcha also threw its weight behind Prachanda’s candidacy after finalising a three-point agreement with the Nepali Congress and CPN-Maoist Centre.
The efforts by Madhesi parties to amend the country’s new Constitution could receive a boost after they finalised the agreement on backing Prachanda.
However, the cautious SLMM will not join the Maoist-led government even though Prachanda and Nepali Congress president Sher Bahadur Deuba requested it to become part of the coalition.
Prachanda is perceived as being relatively soft on the demands of the SLMM and observers said the Madhesi leaders are now expected to play a constructive role in national politics and calm the situation in the southern Terai plains, which were hit by a prolonged agitation over amending the Constitution adopted last year.
The three-point agreement finalised by the SLMM states that Prachanda’s new government will implement several conditions set by the Madhesi alliance, including declaring those killed during last year’s protests as martyrs, providing relief and compensation to the injured and forging political consensus on the SLMM’s demands for constitutional amendments