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Nepal President calls special parliament session

world Updated: Dec 14, 2010 14:50 IST
Utpal Parashar

The deadlocked prime ministerial poll in Nepal could finally get resolved with President Ram Baran Yadav calling a special session of parliament beginning December 19.

The move follows a request made by 187 lawmakers mostly belonging to United Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) and other smaller opposition parties.

According to Nepal's interim constitution, the President should convene a House session within 15 days if at least one-fourth of the total members of parliament demand it.

The President's move is the first minor victory for Maoists, the largest party in parliament, who have been trying in vain to return to power for the past one and half years.

The previous session was prorogued on November 19 when Maoist lawmakers manhandled Finance Minister Surendra Pandey while he was on his way to present the annual budget.

The same session had witnessed 16 rounds of failed voting since July to elect a new prime minister.

Nepal has been without an effective government since June 30 when Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal resigned.

The PM poll had three candidates, but with Maoist chief Pushpa Kamal Dahal and Communist Party of Nepal (United Marxist Leninist) chairman Jhalanath Khanal bowing out, Nepali Congress leader Ram Chandra Poudel is the sole candidate in fray.

Rules stipulate that the election process would continue till the last candidate remains and with Maoists and CPN (UML) abstaining from voting, the poll process is unlikely to yield any result.

Maoists want the special session to amend existing rules so that the present election process ends and a new one started to end the unending cycle of voting without results.

Nepali Congress has ruled out withdrawing from the contest and is demanding that its candidate should be declared winner.