Maoist Chief Prachanda on Thursday took oath as Nepal’s Prime Minister for a second time with his elevation expected to bring much-needed political stability in the country bogged down by deep divisions over the new Constitution.
Though Pushpa Kamal Dahal — better known as Prachanda — was the only contender for the top post, he had to go through the voting as the Constitution requires the Prime Minister to prove support of the majority lawmakers in the House.
The 61-year-old CPN-Maoist Centre chief was elected Prime Minister with 363 votes in favour and 210 against him. Out of a total 595 members, 22 did not vote.
Ahead of the election, Prachanda addressed the House and said that he would try to lead the nation toward economic development while moving ahead with the spirit of national consensus during his premiership.
This is the second time Prachanda has become Prime Minister after his brief stint with premiership came to an end in 2009.
He was prime minister from 2008 to 2009 before a disagreement with the military over his attempt to sack the army chief brought his period in office to an early end.
Prachanda won today’s vote after Nepali Congress and CPN Maoist Centre signed a three-point agreement with the Madhesi Front to secure support from the Madhesi parties for their bid to form a new government led by him.
The Prime Minister’s post had been left vacant since last month after CPN-UML chairman K P Sharma Oli tendered his resignation following the Maoist’s withdrawal of support to the coalition government.