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Nepal fails to elect prime minister for 16th time

Nepal fails to elect prime minister for 16th time

Nepal's lone prime minister candidate failed in his 16th attempt to be elected in a parliamentary vote Thursday, prolonging political uncertainty that may leave the Himalayan nation out of money later this month.
The delay in choosing a new government since Madhav Kumar Nepal resigned as leader in June has also stalled the peace process that ended a decade-long communist insurgency in 2006. The future of the thousands of ex-fighters is yet to be finalized.
An interim budget that was approved to allow the government to pay workers including teachers and doctors and run day-to-day activities for four months expires on Nov. 16.
Nepalese officials have said the government will run out of money after that if parliament does not approve a budget. Government workers in Nepal and its diplomatic missions abroad would not be paid and government hospitals forced to shut down services.
There would be no free medicine for the poor or delivery of food by government agencies to remote mountain villages. Projects to construct and repair roads would also be affected.
Despite the dire outlook, the lone candidate failed to gain the support of more than half the 601 members in the parliament. Ram Chandra Poudel of the Nepali Congress party managed 82 votes. Two candidates who ran in earlier attempts have dropped out.
The next attempt is scheduled Nov. 15. No single party has a majority and none have agreed on a coalition. Nepal has run a caretaker administration since he resigned.
The country is still in the process of writing a new constitution. It was supposed to be complete by May this year, but the squabbling between the political parties has delayed the process.


Updated : 2020-12-04 13:15 GMT+08:00