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Backgrounder: Madhav Kumar Nepal
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08:50, May 24, 2009

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Madhav Kumar Nepal, a senior leader and Standing Committee Member of the Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist-Leninist) (CPN-UML) was elected the prime minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal on Saturday.

M.K. Nepal was born in Rautahat district, some 110 km south of capital Kathmandu on March 6, 1953. He spent his school life in home town of Rautahat, two years after King Tribhuvan returned to homeland as Nepal's new ruler, terminating Rana hegemony since 1846 in the kingdom.

Though he was inclined toward communist politics since 1966, he boosted up his political activities while studying Intermediate level in Birgunj, some 90 km south of capital Kathmandu, graduated in commerce studies.

He officially joined the Communist Party of Nepal (Pushpa Lal Shrestha Group) in 1969.

Madhav Kumar Nepal was member of the Constitution Drafting Committee of Free Students Union during intermediate level in his college, Birgunj in 1970. He was a District member of Nepal Revolutionary Organization (Marxist-Leninist) Morang during 1971-1974.

In 1962, King Mahendra declared a "partyless" panchayat system, dismissed the elected government and promulgated a new constitution. Under kings' direct rule, communist leaders remained underground and undertook their activities secretly.

M.K. Nepal was detained under Treason Act in 1976 and imprisoned for two years.

As a founding member of the CPN (Marxist-Leninist), he is a politbureau member of the party. He led the Central High Command for the People's Movement against partyless Panchayat System in 1990 as its member.

In 1990, King Birendra lifted ban on political parties and ushered in constitutional monarchy.

The CPN-UML was created on Jan. 6, 1991 through the unification of the CPN (Marxist) and the CPN (Marxist-Leninist). The CPN (UML)was a product of the People's Movement during uprising where communists, together with the Nepali Congress, played the major role in the installment of a constitutional democracy in Nepal in 1990.

From 1991 to 1993, M.K. Nepal acted as politbureau member of the CPN-UML, Central Organizing Committee.

Nepal was designated as a chief of the Department of Foreign Affairs of his party from 1978 to 1993.

Nepal was elected as the General Secretary of the CPN-UML in 1993-1998, and was re-elected General Secretary from the 6th (1998) and the 7th (2003) party congress. He ruled the party as the general secretary for 14 years.

He served as deputy prime minister and minister for defense and foreign affairs in a ten-month CPN-UML-led government beginning Nov. 20, 1994.

In February 2005, King Gyanendra dismissed government and assumed full executive powers, declaring a "state of emergency". In April 2006, Nepal-led CPN-UML, as a member of the Seven-Party Alliance (SPA), together with the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist)(CPN-M) called on the Second People's Movement, strikes and street protests in capital Kathmandu, forced King Gyanendra to reinstate the parliament and end his direct rule.

In November 2006, Nepal representing the CPN-UML, as a member of the SPA, signed peace agreement with the CPN-M, ending the 11-year-long civil war.

In Constituent Assembly (CA) direct elections held in April 10,2008, Nepal lost two constituencies of Kathmandu-2 and Rautahat-6,both to candidates from the CPN-M. Amid his party's setback in the election, he decided to resign from the post of the party's general secretary on April 12, 2008.

On May 28, 2008, the country was declared by the Constituent Assembly a federal democratic republic.

M. K. Nepal was nominated as CA member and was assigned chairman of the CA Constitutional Committee on Jan. 13, 2009.

On Feb. 24, 2009, Jhala Nath Khanal was elected the reinstalled highest party post of chairman of the CPN-UML from the party congress and M. K. Nepal later was assigned as the Senior Leader of the party.

The Nepali government led by the Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) on May 3 decided to sack Chief of Army Staff (CoAS) Rookmangud Katawal without the coalition's consensus, which led to the CPN-UML's pulling out of the government.

Following the government's decision tabled, President Ram Baran Yadav instructed CoAS Katawal to continue in his office, which the UCPN-M leaders termed as "unconstitutional". Prachanda, the UCPN-Mchairman, hence, resigned from the post of the prime minister on May 4.

The CA Speaker, Subash Nemwang, on May 17 announced that 350 CA members, with simple majority out of the total 601, had signed to support Madhav Kumar Nepal to lead the new government.


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