Prachanda strikes deal with Oli, appointed new Prime Minister of Nepal

Prachanda strikes deal with Oli, appointed new Prime Minister of Nepal

Kathmandu, December 25, 2022

Nepal President Bidhya Devi Bhandari on Sunday evening appointed Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist Centre Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal, also known as Prachanda, as the new Prime Minister of the Himalayan nation.

Out of the Parliament's 265 lawmakers, Prachanda has claimed the support of 170 members.

As per the Article 76 (2) of the Constitution, President Bhandari has appointed Prachanda as the Prime Minister of Nepal, a statement issued by the President's office said.

He will be administered the oath of office and secrecy on Monday at 4 p.m., Tika Dhakal, Information and Communication aide to President Bhandari, said.

Prachanda will replace incumbent Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba of the Nepali Congress.

He had earlier staked the claim to lead the new government in the Himalayan nation. Backed by seven political parties - his own CPN-Maoist Centre, the CPN-UML, the Rastriya Swatantra Party, the Rastriya Prajatantra Party, the Janamat Party, the Janata Samajbadi Party and the Nagarik Unmukti Party - and three independent candidates, Prachanda had reached the President's Office on Sunday evening and submitted a letter claiming that he has received support from majority of the members of parliament as per the constitutional provision.

The CPN-UML has 77 seats, the Maoist Centre 32 seats, the Rastriya Swatantra Party 20 seats, the Rastriya Prajatantra Party 14 seats, the Janamat Party 6 seats, the Janata Samajbadi Party 12 seats, and Nagarik Unmukti Party 4 seats in the lower house. Combined, they now have a comfortable majority to form a new government.

Prachanda's party walked out of the Nepali Congress-led alliance on Sunday afternoon after a failed attempt to reach a consensus with its President Deuba. With the Congress refusing to share none of the posts of the Prime Minister and the President with the Maoist Centre, Prachanda had told Deuba that his party cannot remain in the coalition any longer.

He then went to Balkot to meet UML chair Oli. They were later joined by the key leaders of other parties.

With the Nepali Congress-led five-party ruling alliance breaking in the eleventh hour of the deadline given by President Bhandari for the parties to stake their claim to form the government by Sunday evening, Prachanda, with the support of second largest party, the CPNUML, staked claim over the premiership of the new government.

As per the agreement between Prachanda and UML's K. P. Oli, Prachanda will be Prime Minister for the first half of the next five-year term.

As no party commanded a majority in the House of Representatives single-handedly, the President on December 19 had called parties to form a government under Article 76 (2) of the constitution within seven days.


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