Ex-Maoist rebel leader Prachanda becomes Nepal PM for third time | Elections News

Pushpa Kamal Dahal, better known as Prachanda, will head the new government until 2025 as part of an agreement reached with another party.

A former Maoist leader who led a decades-long insurgency against Nepal’s monarchy, has been appointed prime minister for the third time, allied with the main opposition after last month’s election return a hanging parliament.

Pushpa Kamal Dahal, who still uses nom de guerre Prachanda – which means “terrible” or “fierce” – will head the new government for the first half of a five-year term with the support of the opposition communist party United Marxist-Leninist (UML) and other small groups , party officials said Sunday .

Tika Dhakal, an aide to President Bidhya Devi Bhandari, told Reuters news agency: “He has been appointed and has the support of a majority in parliament.

Prachanda is likely to be sworn in on Monday and prove her majority in the 275-member lower house by the end of the week. Seven parties have pledged their support.

Prachanda, who replaces Sher Bahadur Deuba of the Nepal Congress party, will step down in 2025, making way for UML to take over the office, local media reported.

“This is understanding. Dev Gurung, general secretary of Prachanda’s Center Maoist party told Reuters after the meeting of the new coalition.

The The new alliance comes to power hours after Prachanda, 68, unexpectedly walked out of the ruling coalition led by Deuba, 76.

Deuba, whose National Assembly of Nepal emerged as the largest party after the November 20 poll, refused to support Prachanda for the prime minister job.

Prachanda’s Maoist Center Party won 32 seats in the 275-member House of Representatives. UML has 78 seats, and the rest, needed for a 138-majority, will be controlled by smaller groups.

The Nepali Congress Party will be the main opposition controlling 89 seats.

Prachanda hid for years in the jungle during Nepal’s 1996-2006 civil war that killed nearly 17,000 people and led to the fall of the 239-year-old monarchy.

In 2006, the Maoists abandoned the armed uprising, joined the UN-supported peace process, and entered mainstream politics. Prachanda briefly served as prime minister in 2008-2009, and again in 2016-17.

Analysts say Prachanda is unlikely to bring stability to the country due to many alliance partners. He also faces serious economic challenges.

Inflation is more than 8 percent, the highest in six years. Nepal also faces dwindling foreign exchange reserves, with a growing reliance on imports of basic goods.

Former central bank governor Deependra Bahadur Kshetri told Reuters: “The economy is unlikely to grow because political uncertainty will panic investment and businesses.”

Nepal has been plagued by political instability, frequent changes in government, and partisan disputes, which have been blamed for delays in drafting the constitution and economic development. .

The Himalayan nation has undergone 10 changes of government since 2008, when the monarchy was abolished.

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