Nepal fails in 8th attempt to elect PM, next poll on Sep 30

65-year-old Poudyal, the sole candidate for the post of Prime Minister, secured 116 votes in favour which was 184 votes short of a majority. Two votes were cast against him while 71 lawmakers remained neutral.

Unified CPN (Maoist) and CPN-UML lawmakers did not participate in the voting process. Till the seventh round of elections, CPN-UML had participated in the voting process and stayed neutral.

The next round of poll will take place on September 30, according to the Parliament secretariat.

Ahead of the voting in the 601-member Constituent Assembly, the House officially approved the withdrawal of Prachanda's candidacy. Maoist vice president Baburam Bhattarai formally notified the House about the withdrawal of his party boss from the Prime Ministerial race.

Following Prachanda's failure to get majority support in Parliament seven times in a row, the Maoist chief on September 17 withdrew from the election after a deal with the CPN-UML in bid to facilitate the formation of a national consensus government.

CPN-Maoist, which ended its decade-long civil war in 2006, is the single largest party with 238 seats in the Assembly, while Nepali Congress has 114 members in the House whose two-year term was extended by one year on May 28.

The CPN-UML with the strength of 109 and the Madhesi alliance with the combine strength of 82 and other smaller parties have called for a national government.

55-year-old former prime minister Prachanda and CPN-UML president Jhala Nath Khanal reached a deal on September 17 that the Maoists would withdraw from the Prime Ministerial race and both the parties would not take part in the election on September 26.

Nearly three months after the 22-party coalition led by Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal collapsed, eight rounds of poll have failed to elect a new leader. The country has been without a government since June 30, when Nepal stood down under intense pressure from the Maoists.

The Maoists today called for the formation of a new coalition government.
"It is clear that we cannot elect a new prime minister in this way. We should now look to form a national unity government," Bhattarai said after the failure to elect a new prime minister.

The caretaker government is facing fund crunch as the budget for the current fiscal could not be approved due to the political crisis.

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