Indecision in Nepal

There was a hope today that Nepal will get a new prime minister. But Nepal has failed to elect a new one for the fourth time in a month after Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal resigned from power. In the fourth round of election held on Friday, Maoist Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal bagged 213 votes while his opponent Nepali Congress’s Ram Chandra Poudel garnered 122 votes. The Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist-Leninist) (CPN-UML) and an alliance of four Madhes-based parties today decided to abstain from voting. While parliamentarians gathered on Friday in the House in New Baneshwore to vote for their candidate, a dozen lawmakers missed the opportunity as they arrived too late. Deputy Prime Minister Bijay Kumar Gachchhadar and a few others reached the House after the doors were already closed and voting started.   Just a few hours ahead of voting, the Communist Party of Nepal ML split up after serious disputes erupted over choosing a candidate. The Indian Government sent former ambassador to Nepal Shyam Sharan to help broker a deal between the three major political parties, but the attempt failed as none of the nominees got a majority.

It has been over a month since the prime minister resigned, and such a power vaccuum is uncommon even for Nepal. People are confused and hoping that the next election - some two weeks away - will bring needed certainty.

- Rajneesh Bhandari

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