Nepal : On December 25, 2022, the president of the Himalayan nation, Bidhya Devi Bhandari appointed Pushpa Kamal Dahal (Prachanda), the chairman of the Communist Party of Nepal -Maoist Centre (CPN-MC) as the new Prime minister of Nepal as per Article 76 (Clause-2) of the Nepalese Constitution.
This will be Kamal’s third tenure as the Prime Minister of Nepal. The swearing-in ceremony was conducted on December 26 2022.
The Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi has congratulated Pushpa Kamal Dahal for his appointment as the new Prime Minister of Nepal.
“Warmest congratulations @cmprachanda on being elected as the Prime Minister of Nepal. The unique relationship between India & Nepal is based on deep cultural connections & warm people-to-people ties. I look forward to working together with you to further strengthen this friendship.”
The President of Nepal called on any member of the “House of Representatives” who can garner support with a majority with support from two or more parties as per Article 76 and Clause 2 to submit a claim for the Prime Minister Post.
Prachanda initially approached the Leader and President of the Nepali Congress Sher Bahadur Deuba for support. However, his bid was rejected in the very first round.
After the talks with Deuba failed, Prachanda went to the president of the Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist Leninist) KP Sharma Oli. He received assistance from Oli along with leaders of smaller parties such as Rastriya Swatantra Party, Rastriya Prajatantra Party etc.
They agreed to form a government under the leadership of Prachanda. Moreover, despite being the largest party in Nepal having 89 seats, the Nepali Congress failed to form the government within the deadline provided to them by the president.
According to Shanker Pokharel, the CPN-UML has taken the initiative to form the government with additional support from 165 Lawmakers out of the total 275 members in the House of Representatives.
The CPN-UML has 78 seats, CPN-MCU with 32 seats, RSP has 20 seats, RPP with 14 seats, JSP under 12, Janamat has 6 and the Nagarikta Unmukti Party with 3 seats only.
During his former tenure in 2017, Prachanda has close contact with the People’s Republic of China. He has held bilateral talks with Xi Jinping. Both Oli and Prachanda are seen as pro-China. There exists an ideological similarity and symmetry between the leaders of both countries (Communism).
Nepal is also under the radar of the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) programme. They have a growing defence partnership too in the form of joint military exercises and arms transfers.
Prachanda was born in Dhikurpokhari of Kaski District near Pokhara on December 11, 1954, Prachanda remained underground for almost 13 years. He joined mainstream politics when the CPN-Maoist adopted peaceful politics, ending a decade-long armed insurgency.
He led the decade-long armed struggle from 1996 to 2006 that ultimately ended with the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement in November 2006.