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Nepal Prez asks parties to elect new PM within a week

By Shirish B Pradhan
July 25, 2016 19:14 IST
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Nepal President Bidya Devi Bhandari on Monday called on all the political parties to elect a new prime minister within a week based on consensus to end the political instability in the country, a day after premier K P Oli resigned.

The president also ordered to remove constitutional hurdles for the formation of a new government as per the recommendation made by the Cabinet on Sunday.

Nepal plunged into a political turmoil after Prime Minister Oli resigned just before a no-confidence vote.

In a statement, President Bhandari called on the parties to form a consensus government within a week as per the Article 298 (2) of the Constitution of Nepal.

Prior to this, she held consultations with top leaders of three major political parties -- acting Prime Minister and Communist Party of Nepal-Unified Marxist Leninist Chairman Oli, Nepali Congress President Sher Bahadur Deuba and Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist Centre Chairman Prachanda, who is favourite to replace Oli.

Oli-led cabinet on Sunday had recommended the President to remove the hurdles to form a new government by invoking Article 305 of the Constitution as there was no provision to elect new prime minister after the prime minister's resignation in the transition.

The president called on all parties to move ahead in consensus, according to Prachanda's secretariat.

In response, Deuba and Prachanda -- who are trying to form the coalition government -- said they were also of the view that all parties should be taken into confidence while forming the new government.

They also expressed their determination in implementation of the Constitution and cooperation on issues of the national interest.

Oli tendered his resignation after two key ruling alliance partners -- Madhesi People's Rights Forum-Democratic and Rastriya Prajatantra Party -- decided to support the no-confidence motion tabled against him by the Nepali Congress and the CPN-Maoist Centre led by Prachanda in the 596-member Parliament.

The no-trust motion against Oli had the support of 183 Nepali Congress parliamentarians, 70 from Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist Centre and three from Communist Party of Nepal-United. The three parties have a combined strength of 292 in Parliament.

Oli's Communist Party of Nepal-Unified Marxist Leninist currently has 175 elected seats in parliament, far fewer than the 299 needed to win a vote of confidence.

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Shirish B Pradhan in Kathmandu
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