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Big three field candidates for Nepal PM election

world Updated: Jul 20, 2010 17:39 IST
Utpal Parashar

The race for Nepal Prime Minister’s post has become interesting with all three major parties fielding candidates for the election to be held on Wednesday.

Ram Chandra Poudel (Nepali Congress), Maoist chief Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ and chairman of Communist Party of Nepal (UML) Jhalanath Khanal filed their nominations on Tuesday evening.

Since none of the three parties enjoy clear majority in the 601-member Constituent Assembly it seems unlikely that anyone would secure the simple majority needed to get elected to the post.

In such a scenario, a second round of voting is likely to take place at a later date.

Filing of nominations for the election ended on Tuesday evening. Voting would take place on Wednesday morning.

The PM election is the result of political parties failing to form a consensus government after Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal’s resignation last month.

Nepal’s interim constitution allows the President to resort to such a move if there is no consensus among parties.

Earlier in the day, the CPN-UML backed party chairman Khanal’s candidature for the PM post. Khanal has stated that he would withdraw his nomination if he fails to secure support of two-third of all CA members.

Several leaders within the party were of the opinion that since the party was leading the previous government, it shouldn’t join the race.

Likewise, the Maoist politburo named chairman ‘Prachanda’ for the post. The party has more than one-third representatives in CA.

Maoist spokesperson Dinanath Sharma said that his party would support a Khanal-led government if ‘Prachanda’ fails to win the election.

Nepali Congress had agreed on Poudel’s candidature last week.

In a related development, the four-party front of Madhes-based parties that have 82 members in CA decided not to field any candidate.