Despite efforts by India to break the ongoing deadlock among political parties, Nepali lawmakers failed to elect a new prime minister for the fourth time on Friday.
Maoist chief Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ secured 213 votes while Nepali Congress parliamentary party leader Ram Chandra Poudel got support from only 122 lawmakers.
A candidate needs 300 votes to win. The outcome was expected as CPN-UML, which has 108 members and United Democratic Madhesi Front — the umbrella group of four Madhes-based parties that have 83 candidates abstained from voting.
Today’s voting however brought out some interesting outcomes as Prachanda failed to get support of some colleagues and few Nepali Congress lawmakers abstained from voting against the Maoist candidate.
Maoists have 239 members, 26 more than the number of votes Prachanda got and despite NC having 114 members, only 99 of them voted against the motion to elect the Maoist chief.
“There’s no question of withdrawing from the contest. I am sure we will able to get a positive result the next time,” said Poudel after voting was over.
The next round of voting will take place on August 18.
On Wednesday, former Indian foreign secretary Shyam Saran had reached Kathmandu to find a way out of the deadlock and take the peace and constitution drafting processes forward. Nepal is in the process of selecting its 34th PM by majority vote.