Pushpa Kamal Dahal “Prachanda” Takes Oath as Nepal PM for 3rd Time

Guwahati: Communist Party of Nepal (CPN)- Maoist Centre chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ was sworn in as the Prime Minister of Nepal on Monday.

He was sworn in by President Bidhya Devi Bhandari a day after being named Prime Minister in the Himalayan country after new elections.

Dahal, popularly known by the alias Prachanda, was chosen to serve as prime minister for a third time after gaining the backing of 169 lawmakers to establish the new administration.

He was Nepal’s prime minister from 2008 to 2009 and again from 2016 to 2017.

Prachanda addressed the President to request that he be appointed as Prime Minister after a coalition of six parties resolved to support Prachanda in forming the next government. There was no obvious winner in the general election.

The unexpected decision was made after Sher Bahadur Deuba’s Nepali Congress party, which had been in power along with its allies, and the CPN-Maoist Centre abruptly terminated their connections.

One of the parties in the current ruling coalition is the Communist Party of Nepal-Unified Marxist Leninist (CPN-UML), which is led by former prime minister KP Sharma Oli.

Prachanda and Oli have agreed on a system of rotating leadership, with Oli agreeing to give Prachanda the position of prime minister initially as per his request.

Ironically, Sher Bahadur Deuba won the backing of Prachanda and took office in Kathmandu in 2021 following the break between Prachanda and Oli.

“A coalition of six parties have decided to project Pushpa Kamal Dahal as the Prime Minister. An agreement has been reached. Dahal will lead the government for two-and-a-half years and the CPN-UML will be in power in the remaining two-and-a-half years,” Barshaman Pun, leader of the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist Center) had said.

The CPN-UML has 78 MPs in the new alliance, followed by the Maoist Center with 32, Rastriya Swatantra Party with 20, Rastriya Prajatantra Party with 14, Janata Samajbadi Party with 12, Janamat Party with 6, and Nagarik Unmukti Party with four. Prachanda is also supported by three independent lawmakers.

On Sunday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated Prachanda on his selection as Nepal’s PM.

“Warmest congratulations @cmprachanda on being elected as the Prime Minister of Nepal. The unique relationship between India and Nepal is based on deep cultural connect and warm people-to-people ties. I look forward to working together with you to further strengthen this friendship,” PM Modi said in a tweet.

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