Nepal Today

Friday, July 23, 2010

Third round election for PM 2 August; Friday’s vote inconclusive (DEVELOPING STORY)

By Bhola B Rana

Kathmandu, 23 July: The third round of election for prime minister will be held 2 August after an inconclusive second round election Friday.
Maoist Chairman Prachanda and NC Vice-chairman Ram Chandra Paudel couldn’t muster the required 301 votes in the 599-member parliament.
Prachanda got 241 votes in his favour; 113 legislators votes against him while 218 lawmakers abstained, Speaker Subash Nemwang said.
Paudel received 113 votes, 241 lawmakers voted against while 214 legislators boycotted the election.
Parliament’s business advisory committee fixed the date for third round of election
Voting was delayed by more than six hours as it became clear no party would muster the required majority.
The three parties were trying to consolidate their positions for the future through dark room bargaining.
UML and four Madesh parties boycotted the vote.
UML, the party leading the caretaker government, is meeting Monday to adopt its stance after a ‘principled’ standoff and is in a dilemma.
The president called for the election of a premier through majority vote following the failure of three parties to elect a consensus candidate in 12 days allotted by his.
But UML argues the majority vote will be a consensus arrangement which has failed; a two-third vote in a majority vote as the UML tries to confuse people.
There’s constitutional provision for consensus and majority vote and consensus politics failed in the first round of voting; UML is insisting the majority vote exercise will again be a consensus exercise.
Jhalanath Khanal brought down his majority government headed by Madhav Kumar Nepal who is collaborating with KP Sharma Oli seeking revenge against Khanal by preventing him taking over as prime minister with Maoist support.
But the country this week came closest to an overtake by communists with Maoist and Jhanal connivance.
The struggle to contain communists will continue in the days and weeks ahead while constitution drafting has been sidelined.
The issue is control of the government and Nepali Congress is in a weak position.
The party doesn’t have the votes to maneuver.