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22-party alliance to form new Nepal goverment?

world Updated: May 17, 2009 23:00 IST

AP
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An alliance of 22 political parties claimed on Sunday to have enough support to form a new coalition government in Nepal and called for a vote to elect its candidate as the new prime minister, officials said.

The alliance said it will back veteran communist leader Madhav Kumar Nepal as prime minister.

Parliament speaker Subash Nemwang said the alliance — made up of Nepali Congress, the Communist Party of Nepal (United Marxist Leninist) and smaller groups — has filed a claim to form a new government and has begun the process of putting together an administration.

The previous coalition was led by the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist), which won elections last year.

The Maoists are former rebels who fought government troops for 10 years before joining a peace process in 2006, while Madhav Kumar Nepal's Communist Party of Nepal (United Marxist Leninist) has been a democratic party regularly contesting elections.

Surendra Pandey, a lawmaker from Nepal's party, said they have gathered the signatures of 350 lawmakers in the 601-seat parliament, enough to form the next government.