President Dr. Ram Baran Yadav returned home on Thursday (yesterday) completing his four-day visit to India. It was a mixed bag. To his supporters, New Delhi not only expressed solidarity with the budding Nepali republic but also demonstrated strong support for the president for his hardline position against the Maoist-led government. His detractors, especially the Maoists, could argue that it was but natural for Delhi to accord the president a warm welcome. Delhi, to this group, gave him a ‘thank you’ for doing what he was asked to do: revoke the Maoist-led government’s decision to sack the then-Army chief Rookmangud Katawal.
Some Nepal-watchers here say New Delhi has no illusion about the ceremonial status of Nepal’s president. “After all, it is the political parties, including the Maoists, who have to come together to complete the work on the constitution,” said an Indian analyst insisting anonymity. “Indians know they can back the president only so far. If they push more than what is seen as undermining the democratic process in Nepal, they will be facing the wrath of the Nepali people as it happened in the 2006 movement.” New Delhi changed tack as Nepalis continued with the movement ignoring Delhi’s initial efforts to bring together monarchy and political parties and restore democracy. Continue reading Analysis: Nepal President’s India Visit→
The 100-day marathon of uncertainty after the April 10 Constituent Assembly (CA) election finally ended on July 21, 2008 when Dr. Ram Baran Yadav of the NC-UML-MJF alliance won the run-off with 306 (52%) out of the 590 ballots cast. The Maoists candidate Ram Raja Prasad Singh was defeated with 282 (48%) votes. On July 19, none of the presidential candidates received the majority of votes, except the Vice President Paramananda Jha. Almost all national and international forces tried their best to support the formation of a new national consensus government, prioritizing the PM for the Maoists, the ceremonial role of President for the NC, and the chairmanship of the CA for the UML. Continue reading Nepal’s Presidential Election: Victory of Anti-Maoist Forces→
Dr Ram Baran Yadav, Nepali Congress General Secretary, has been elected the first President of the republic of Nepal in the presidential run-off held today in the Constituent Assembly. Yadav, backed by a coalition of NC, UML, MPRF and other fringe parties the CA, got 308 votes-almost a dozen more than needed for the simple majority- while his rival Ram Raja Prasad Singh, who was considered the Maoist candidate for the presidency, ended up with 282 votes. 590 out of 594 lawmakers had cast their votes in the president poll run-off that kicked off at around 8 and ended at around 11 this morning, according to the Election Commissioner’s office.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao answers question relating to Nepal:On July 22, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao answered one question regarding to the election of President and Vice President of Nepal. His answer is as follows:
We have noticed that the Constituent Assembly of Nepal has elected the first President and Vice President in history, and the Chinese side is happy to this and expresses its congratulations to the newly elected President Mr. Ram Yadav and Vice President Mr. Paramananda Jha. China, as good neighbor, good friend and good partner of Nepal, sincerely hopes that the peace process of Nepal could keep going ahead, and Nepal could realize political stability, economic development and ethnic unity as well.
July 22, 2008 U.S. Congratulates CA and the People of Nepal on Election of a President: The United States congratulates the members of the Constituent Assembly and the people of Nepal on the successful election of a President, Dr. Ram Baran Yadav. With a President, and a Vice President, duly elected, the Constituent Assembly can now undertake the next essential steps in the formation of a new government to provide the services and security the people deserve, and to begin the simultaneous work of drafting a new constitution.
Both candidates-Dr. Ram Baran Yadad and Ram Raja Prasd Singh- failed to get enough votes (simple majority) for today’s presidential polls while Paramanda Jha, a candidate filed by Madhesi Janadhikar Forum, fourth largest party in the CA, got elected as the Vice President. Yadav got 294- four votes short of the simple majority while Singh got 284. Jha got 305 (not officially verified). Of the total 594 voters registered, 578 CA members cast their ballots while 16 CA members stayed away from the voting centre. CPN UML had supported NC candidate Dr. Yadav while pulling back, unofficially, the candidacy of their man Ramprit Paswan.
There is a saying in Nepali: thangna ma sutaunu. CPN Maoist has done the same to the CPN UML (United Marxists & Leninists). UML is out in the cold thanks to the cunning politics played by the former rebels. It appears almost certain (though you can never predict political happenings, especially the Nepali) that the Maoist’s candidate for the president of Nepal will be indeed the first president of Nepal. Events are evidences that Maoists are succeeding to guide the Nepali polity by their, and only, their, terms. First they gave the lollypop of president to the UML and got the UML vote in the CA (as legislative parliament) to thwart the Nepali Congress proposal of providing a seat to the leader of the opposition leader in the National Security Council. Maoist continued luring UML with the President lollypop while they strategically sidelined the NC, second largest party in the CA. UML kept dancing while Maoist was having second thought about the lollypop. UML was all high thinking that Maoist would help elect one of their top leaders, namely the poor unfortunate MK Nepal, as the first president of Nepal. Continue reading The Presidential Shock to UML: Ultimately Madhes Leads!?!→