Seventh Time – Not a Charm

Nepal’s cabinet decided that the prime minister should have the final say on whether or not the UN mission can remain in Nepal - the problem is, the parliament failed once again to elect a prime minister. On Tuesday Nepal staged its seventh attempt in more than two months to agree on a successor to Madhav Kumar Nepal, who is now a caretaker prime minister. It was Nepal's cabinet that decided the fate of the UN mission rests with the prime minister, acting or not. However, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon wants the future of the mission to be decided after the formation of a new government. (Check out a related post here.)

In the seventh run-off election, neither of the leading candidates - Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda of Nepal's largest party Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) (UCPN-M) and Ramchandra Paudel, vice chairman of the second largest party Nepali Congress (NC) - received a needed majority vote. This didn't come as a surprise, as UML and other madhes-based parties have remained neutral in the voting so far and show no signs of altering their stance.

So what will happen to the UN mission? It seems the caretaker prime minister will have no other option than to decide. The UN mission is currently scheduled to end on September 15, and the eighth round of elections will only happen on September 26. And as of now now there is no indication the eighth run-off election will have any different outcome than the seventh.