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Deadlocked Nepal PM poll in limbo

Friday's fracas in Nepal parliament over presentation of budget that led to the session getting prorogued has put question marks over the deadlocked prime ministerial election.

world Updated: Nov 21, 2010 14:00 IST
Utpal Parashar

Friday's fracas in Nepal parliament over presentation of budget that led to the session getting prorogued has put question marks over the deadlocked prime ministerial election.

There's confusion as parliamentary guidelines have no mention of whether a prime minister's election can be transferred from one session to the next.

Rules say that a bill which is part of the parliament's proceedings when it is prorogued can be taken up in the next session. But that's not the case with the election of a prime minister.

"The PM election is a proposal not a bill. Since parliamentary regulation has no mention about its status in the next session, there is confusion," The Himalayan Times quoted Speaker Subhash Nemwang.

Nepal has failed to elect a new prime minister despite 16 rounds of voting. Since withdrawal of Maoist chief Pushpa Kamal Dahal, Nepali Congress leader Ram Chandra Poudel is the only candidate in fray.

Nepali Congress is of the opinion that since there’s no mention of the status of an unresolved proposal Poudel's candidacy would remain valid in the next session when it commences on December 2.

But Communist Party of Nepal (United Marxist Leninist) chairman Jhalanath Khanal who has been seeking a fresh election said Poudel's candidacy would get terminated.

Opposition Maoists who have also been asking Poudel to step out from the race are yet to voice their views on the issue. The party's plenum started at Palungtar in Gorkha district on Sunday.

Legal and constitutional experts are also divided on whether the election would get carried over to the next session or a fresh election needed.

Delay in electing a new prime minister has affected implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement signed exactly four years ago after end of the civil war.

Worried that the peace process won't get completed or the new constitution drafted on time, heads of 14 diplomatic missions in Nepal have urged political parties speed up the process.