August 29th, 2011
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Bhattarai, Nepal’s new PM

Kathmandu: Baburam Bhattarai, Vice-Chairman of the Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) has been elected as Nepal’s new Prime Minister by Nepal’s legislature parliament. The Maoists were supported by the United Democratic Madhesi Front (UDMF), an alliance of five Madhesi parties. In the House of 594 MPs, 575 members participated in the election and around 340 voted for Dr. Bhattarai, helping him secure a simple majority.

The new Prime Minister, Baburam Bhattarai, is a senior leader and intellectual force in the United Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist). The party gave up armed rebellion in a 2006 peace accord and unexpectedly won the most seats, though not an outright majority, in the 2008 legislative elections.

Maoist chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ proposing Dr. Bhattarai’s name. He said,“Baburamji is known for his intellect, his sacrifices during the People’s War, and his appeal spreads across classes. The party’s decision to nominate him has created a new unity.”

Dr. Bhattarai told Parliament, “Even though this will be a majority government, our ultimate goal is creating a national unity government with the common agenda of peace and Constitution.”“This is the last opportunity. I am determined to complete the peace process and constitution drafting’’, he added.

The other candidate, Nepali Congress Parliamentary Party leader Ram Chandra Poudel, got 235 votes. The NC was supported by the Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist Leninist).NC and UML leaders said they had no reason to trust the Maoists. Mr. Poudel told the House: “The NC is totally committed to democracy and democratic principles. The Maoists have constantly breached past agreements and continue to retain their military apparatus.”

The UML said it had not received a credible and acceptable peace process proposal from the Maoists. The last minute four point agreement with Medhesi parties made the victory a possibility.



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