Jhalanath Khanal elected new Prime Minister of Nepal

Friday, February 4, 2011

KATHMANDU - Nepal’s Parliament has elected CPN (UML) chairman Jhalanath Khanal as the 34th Prime Minister, ending the six-month long stalemate.

The breakthrough came after opposition Unified CPN (Maoist) withdrew its Chairman Prachanda from the electoral race and decided to vote for Khanal.

He secured 368 votes, more than the simple majority required in the 601-member House, while his immediate rival Ram Chandra Poudel of Nepali Congress got 122 votes.

Madesh Janadhikar Forum (Loktantrik) Chairman Bijay Gachchdar, the third contestant got 67 votes.

Khanal became the third communist Prime Minister of Nepal after abolition of Monarchy in 2008 although it took six months for him to get elected after resignation of Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal in June last year

Khanal has been involved in politics for over three decades. He was elected the UML chairman by the eighth general convention of the party on February 16, 2009.

Khanal had also filed nomination for the post of Prime Minister in the previous election process, which prolonged for six months without any results.

He had withdrawn his candidacy, as he could not get assurance of two-thirds lawmakers in the parliament as per the mandate of his party’s Central Committee.

Khanal will take oath when President Rambaran Yadav, currently on an official visit to India, is back on February 5. (ANI)

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