In what will go on the pages of the history books as one of the most important days of Nepal, Maoist revolutionary (and leader of an outfit that was branded terrorist until two years ago) Pushpa Kamal Dahal (aka Prachanda) has been elected the Prime Minister of Nepal by a majority of votes in the Constituent Assembly this evening. Nepali Congress, second largest party in the assembly, was the opponent that filed separate candidacy. Sher Bahadur Dueba, senior Congress leader and three time prime minister, was defeated (he got 113 votes vs 464 of Dahal). Many other fringe parties supported the Maoist led alliance that included third largest CPN UML. Chairman of the CA in his capacity as the Speaker of the House of Representative announced the results a few seconds ago.
Virtually all parties among the total 25 elected to the CA announced their support to the former teacher-turned-politician Prachanda, while People’s Front Nepal and Nepal Workers and Peasants Party boycotted the election. The CPN-UML and the Madhesi People’s Rights Forum (MPRF) had formed an alliance with the Maoist yesterday. Both parties are expected to join the cabinet. UML general secretary Jhalanath Khanal, speaking in the CA, floated a proposal recommending Maoist chairman Prachanda as the Prime Minister for the next government, while MPRF chairman Upendra Yadav also turned his support to Prachanda. Likewise, Maoist second-in-command Dr Babu Ram Bhattarai, on behalf of the party, condemned NC for going against the Maoist-led alliance. He also announced the party’s support for chairman Prachanda. In the build-up to the vote casting period, Sarita Giri of Nepal Sadbhawana Party (NSP-A), Narayan Kaji Shrestha of CPN-Masal, Chandra Dev Joshi of CPN-United, Malwar Singh Thapa of Rastriya Janamukti Party, Buddha Ratna Manandhar of Nepa: Rastriya Party, Gayatri Shah of Nepal Janata Dal and Nepal Pariwar Dal supported UML chief Khanal’s proposal before CA chairman Subash Chandra Nemwang. Likewise, formerly the hardcore pro-monarch party Rastriya Prajatantra Party- Nepal has also supported the CPN-Maoists, which had strongly voiced for the abolition of the monarchy.