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Sher Bahadur Deuba becomes sole candidate in Nepal’s prime ministerial race

LiveMint logoLiveMint 04-06-2017 PTI

Kathmandu: Veteran Nepalese politician Sher Bahadur Deuba is set to become the country’s prime minister for the fourth time as he is the sole candidate in the election slated to take place on Sunday.

Deuba, president of the Nepali Congress party, became the sole candidate in the prime ministerial race, after the main opposition CPN-UML decided not to field its candidate. The voting is said to be a mere formality to pave his way for the post, Kathmandu Post reported. Outgoing Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal of the CPN (Maoist Centre) proposed Deuba’s candidacy while senior NC leader Ram Chandra Poudel seconded the proposal at the parliament secretariat which on Friday published the schedule to elect the new prime minister on majority basis.

Deuba, 70, needs to secure 297 votes in the 593-strong Parliament to prove his majority during Sunday’s election, and with the NC-Maoist Centre alliance enjoying 287 seats in Parliament and four other parties supporting the alliance having 21 seats, it looks plain sailing for Deuba, the report said. Deuba served as the prime minister from 1995 to 1997, from 2001 to 2002, and from 2004 to 2005.

However, the election process may get postponed as the main opposition CPN (Maoist Centre) has been protesting against the Election Commission’s decision to conduct re- election in a ward. The EC called for re-election after the CPN (Maoist Centre) representatives allegedly tore ballot papers when vote counting was underway. The House meeting summoned for 11am Sunday was postponed to 3pm after the CPN-UML ‘s protest.

Prachanda resigned on 24 May after a brief stint of nine months, honouring a power sharing understanding with the ruling coalition partner Nepali Congress to hand over the country’s leadership to the largest party in Parliament.

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