Jhala Nath Khanal elected as new Prime Minister in Nepal
The Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist), the largest party in parliament, pulled out from the prime minister race in the very last minute on Thursday and instead supported the candidate of the Communist Party of Nepal (United Marxist-Leninists). Bringing an end to the election debacle which started seven months ago and saw 16 unsuccessful election rounds. Yesterday, Jhala Nath Khanal assumed office after taking the oath of office administered by President Dr. Ram Baran Yadav. But, until today (Monday) no cabinet could be formed as no decision was reached between the UCPN (Maoist) and CPN (UML) over the portfolio allocation. Particularly the question of who will lead the Home Ministry is at issue.
There are not only differences between the two allies but also within the CPN (UML) itself.The party is divided over the coalition with the Maoists and the secret 7-point deal Jhala Nath Khanal signed with Pushpa Kamal Dahal. A lot of tasks are ahead of the new government. On May 28 the deadline for the drafting of the new constitution ends and the faith of the PLA combatants is still undecided. The secret 7-point deal suggest a new security entity where the combatants along with other security personnel from the police and army shall be integrated. The PLA combatants are stationed in cantonments since four years and are now monitored by a cross-party Special Committee. UNMIN, who had the responsibilities of arms monitoring after the decade-long armed-conflict left Nepal in mid-January as Nepalʻs government did not extend its mandate.
How Nepalʻs two neighbours, China and India, see the new alliance is of utter interest and importance to the ongoing peace process.
Links / News:
BBC - 3 February 2011 - ”Nepal: Jhalanath Khanal elected new prime minister
BBC - 3 February 2011 - ”Profile: New Nepal Prime Minister Jhalanath Khanal
The Kathmandu Post - 3 February 2011 - ”Khanal is elected new PM“
The Kathmandu Post - 3 February 2011 -”India, China will be happy
The Kathmandu Post - 6 February 2011 - ”Allies at odds: Khanal is in, without a Cabinet“
The Kathmandu Post - 6 February 2011 - ”Maoist-UML agreement
Update and Links: Lars Stöwesand