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Nepali president asks parliament to start process to elect new PM

(Xinhua)

14:05, August 25, 2011

KATHMANDU, Aug. 25 (Xinhua) -- Nepali President Ram Baran Yadav Wednesday evening made a call to the legislature parliament to initiate procedures to elect the new Prime Minister thorough voting as the political parties failed to form consensus government within the extended deadline.

After Prime Minister Jhala Nath Khanal resigned from the post on Aug. 14, President Yadav directed the parties to form a national consensus government within seven days. And later he extended the deadline by three days till Wednesday afternoon.

With the president asking the parliament to go for a majority government, the stage is set for a fresh showdown between at least two contenders -- the Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) ( UCPN-M) Vice-chairman Baburam Bhattarai and the Nepali Congress (NC) parliamentary party leader Ram Chandra Poudel.

The UCPN-M, the largest party in the Constituent Assembly, which has 236 lawmakers and needs just 62 votes to secure a majority in the 594-member House, was upbeat about Bhattarai's chances of winning the PM election. The party was prepared to announce by Thursday a "concrete" and "practical" proposal on completing the peace process.

NC candidate Poudel, who has 114 secure votes from his party, will need additional 184 votes for a majority.

UCPN-M has decided to keep up its efforts for forming a national unity government even under the process for the majority government.

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