Kathmandu: Left alliance takes shape between UML and Maoists
After seven months of having a caretaker government, Nepal finally got a Prime Minister on February 3. Chairman of the Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist Leninist), Jhalanath Khanal, secured the support of 368 MPs in the House of 601 to become the 34th Prime Minister. Khanal was supported by the Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoists), whose chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ decided to withdraw from the contest right before the voting. Speaking in the legislature-parliament, Prachanda said, “Being the single largest party in the country, we feel it is our moral responsibility to ensure that today’s election becomes result-oriented. We have taken this decision to clear the ongoing political deadlock.”
The Maoists have 237 MPs, and the UML has 107 MPs. A number of smaller parties also voted for Khanal.
Khanal’s victory brings to life a new “left alliance” between the UML and Maoists in Nepal, replacing the preceding “left-democratic” alliance between the UML and Nepali Congress. NC leader, Ram Chandra Poudel, and a leader of the United Democratic Madhesi Front, Bijay Kumar Gachhedar, were the other candidates in the fray.