Nepal amends PM poll regulation to end deadlock

Having failed to elect a prime minister after 16 rounds of voting in parliament, Nepal on Tuesday amended provisions in its constitution to end the political stalemate.
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Updated on Jan 25, 2011 04:52 PM IST
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Hindustan Times | By, Kathmandu

Having failed to elect a prime minister after 16 rounds of voting in parliament, Nepal on Tuesday amended provisions in its constitution to end the political stalemate.

The amendment calls for a fresh process if no result is obtained after three rounds of voting. It replaces the earlier provision, which stipulated unending rounds of voting till a candidate secures majority or all candidates withdraw.

Nepal has been without an effective government since July last year.

Differences among the three main parties, ruling Nepali Congress and Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist Leninist) and opposition Maoists, over heading the government is the reason for the impasse.

The delay in government formation has affected the peace process and drafting of new constitution-both of which have to be completed within May.

The new rules were framed by a parliamentary panel after the lone candidate in the PM poll, NC leader Ram Chandra Poudel, quit earlier this month.

The draft proposal for the amendment was tabled in parliament on Monday and discussed and endorsed by majority vote on Tuesday.

As per the new rules, even if there's only one candidate in fray, he'll have to secure support of majority lawmakers to get elected. Failure to do so will lead to a fresh election.

If there are two candidates, both proposals will be put to vote together. Lawmakers can't vote against any candidate and if both fail to secure majority votes, a fresh process will be initiated.

In case there are more than two candidates, voting for all proposals will take place simultaneously. If there's no clear winner after two rounds of voting, the two candidates securing most votes will have a face-off in the third and deciding round.

The fresh provisions are more result-oriented as no lawmaker will be allowed to abstain from the process or stay neutral.

The extended deadline given by President Ram Baran Yadav to political parties to form a government through consensus expires on Wednesday.

A fresh process to elect the new PM will start on January 27.


    Utpal is an assistant editor based in Guwahati. He covers all eight states of North-East and was previously based in Kathmandu, Dehradun and Delhi with Hindustan Times .

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