Madhav Kumar Nepal, veteran communist leader of the Himalayan republic who have been tipped to be the prime minister of Nepal several times in the past and lost from both constituencies in the April 2008 CA elections, is finally set to become the third Communist prime minister of Nepal.
The leader of the moderate Communist Party of Nepal United Marxist and Leninist (CPN UML) who resigned from the post of party General Secretary owing moral responsibilities to his party’s disastrous performance in the CA polls, have already been the deputy prime minister in the cabinet of Manmonah Adhikari, the first elected communist prime minister of Nepal, in 1994 for nine months. He is considered the moderate and inclusive leader in the communist party that, unlike the Maoists, have been taking part in parliamentary democratic elections ever since democracy was restored in 1990. He is criticized as a leader who sometime becomes indecisive and can’t take any firm stands on hard issues.
After the country plunged into political uncertainty with the abrupt resignation of Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal on May 4 the process of forming a non-Maoist government had started in the primary initation of opposition Nepali Congress. The hectic deliberations and possibly some amount of horsetrading finally appeared to have ended today (Sunday) when the CPN UML submitted the signatures of 350 lawmakers (out of 601 CA members) to the CA chairman to open up the way to form the new government. Madhav Kumar Nepal has been backed by 22 different parties representing in the CA including the second largest Nepali Congress.
Nepal is on the way to head the new government after the Madhesi Janadhikar Forum (MJF), whose support was considered key to materialize the government formation process, gave a green signal to the UML’s leadership. However, MJF Chairman Upendra Yadav today said that the party’s Central Committee meeting would decide whether or not to participate in the government, according to eKantipur. The formation of new government was primarily protracted owing to indecision on the MJF’s part that was demanding commitment in writing from the UML-Nepali Congress alliance to implement the eight-point agreement the government made with the Madhesi front. Though the other constituents of the United Democratic Madhesi Front (UDMF) — comprising MJF, Tarai Madhesh Loktantrik Party (TMLP) and Sadbhavana Party (SP) — had decided to support UML-led coalition in exchange for addressing the Madhesi demands, the largest constituent MJF was not fully assured that their demands including “One Madhesh, One Province” would be fulfilled. There was rift within the MJF whether to support the UML or the Maoists in the to-be formed government that even led to a heated debate—if not blow exchange.
The UML and the NC alliance with 108 and 114 seats in the CA respectively, has garnered support from 350 lawmakers of the MJF with 53 seats, the TMLP with 21, SP with 9, the RPP with 4 among other fringe parties.