Prachanda, Poudyal defeated in PM polls for 5th time

55-year-old Prachanda, a former Prime Minister, managed to bag only 246 votes, with 111 members opposing his candidature. Poudyal, 65, also failed to touch the magic figure of 301, receiving just 124 votes in favour and 243 against.

Out of the total 563 lawmakers who participated in the voting, 206 members, mostly from Madhesi parties, remained neutral. During the fourth round of voting on August 6, Prachanda had secured 213 votes while Poudyal got 122.

The CPN-UML with the strength of 109 and the Madhesi alliance with the combine strength of 84 and other smaller parties had earlier decided to remain neutral. The Madhesi alliance of four parties -- Madhesi People's Rights Forum (MPRF), MPRF–Democratic, Terai Madhes Democratic Party and Sadbhavana Party -- had maintained they would back the party that provided a clear roadmap to conclude the peace process and addressed demands of the Indian-origin community from the southern Terai region, including greater economic and political rights for them.

However, the two major parties in the fray have refused to give a clear commitment to the Madhesi parties on declaring the southern plains as a single autonomous region.
The country has been in political limbo since the June 30 resignation of Madhav Kumar Nepal, who is currently heading a caretaker government. CPN-Maoist, which ended its decade-long civil war in 2006, is the single largest party with 238 seats in the Constituent Assembly, while Nepali Congress has 114 members in the House whose two-year term was extended by one year on May 28.

The first round of voting for Prime Minister was held on July 21 while the second round took place on July 23 and third round on August 2. Both Prachanda and Poudyal had been defeated in all five rounds so far.

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