Nepali Parliament Elects New Prime Minister
In Nepal, a veteran communist leader, Madhav Kumar Nepal, has been elected as the country's new prime minister, ending a political deadlock which followed the resignation of Maoist Prime Minister Prachanda. But the tiny Himalayan country's political problems are far from over.
Why a communist? Haven't they any royalists lying about?
The speaker of parliament Subhash Nemwang declared Madhav Kumar Nepal elected to the post of prime minister unopposed on Saturday evening. Fifty-six-year-old Mr. Nepal heads one of the country's oldest parties known as the Communist Party of Nepal - United Marxist Leninist. He will lead an alliance of 22 parties.
Not just a communist but a Marxist-Leninist? How is this an improvement over the Maoist they just got rid of?
The alliance was put together after the exit of Maoist Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal, popularly known as Prachanda. Prachanda resigned earlier this month after the president overturned his party's decision to sack the army chief, who had refused to integrate former rebel fighters into the army. Since then the country has been in political limbo, as the Maoists demanded that the president quit, disrupted parliament, and blocked the formation of a new government.

The Maoists agreed to lift their protests earlier this week allowing a vote to be held on Saturday. However, Maoists stormed out of parliament before the vote, calling the selection of a new leader a "farce."

Their absence highlights the many challenges the new prime minister faces. He has to oversee the drafting of a new constitution for the country, scheduled to be completed by next year. But the job will be difficult without the cooperation of the Maoists who are the single largest party, and control 40 percent of the seats in parliament.
I don't suppose the king will be invited back. As I recall, that was a bit of a disaster.

Posted by: Steve White 2009-05-24