Nepal witnessed another poll but the same outcome on Sunday as the country’s lawmakers failed to elect a new prime minister for the sixth consecutive time.
Maoist chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ secured 240 votes while Nepali Congress vice president Ram Chandra Poudel got 122 votes. A candidate needs 300 votes to win the election.
The continuing deadlock that persists more than two months after Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal resigned has led to political instability and further delayed the peace process and drafting of the new constitution.
Today’s outcome was clear before voting as CPN-UML (108 votes) and United Democratic Madhesi Forum, the three party conglomeration of Madhesi parties with 57 votes, had announced their decision to abstain.
The fourth constituent of UDMF, Madhesi Janadhikar Forum (25 votes) dissociated itself ahead of voting expressing dissatisfaction with the group’s decision to abstain.
Apart from the third round of voting when 11 MPs from UDMF disobeyed the collective decision and voted in favour of ‘Prachanda’, lawmakers from the front have been abstaining from voting in all previous rounds.
Although MJF leader Jay Prakash Gupta had blamed UDMF for holding the country to hostage, no lawmaker from the party took part in today’s voting.
As per the interim constitution, the voting process would continue till a candidate secures the votes required to win. No new candidate can enter the fray midway.