CPN-Maoist Centre chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ was on Monday sworn in as Prime Minister of Nepal. He was sworn in by President Bidhya Devi Bhandari a day after his appointment as Prime Minister following fresh elections in the Himalayan nation.
Dahal, also known as ‘Prachanda’, was appointed PM for the third time after he secured the support of 169 members of the Parliament to form the new government. He served as Prime Minister of Nepal from 2008 to 2009 and again from 2016 to 2017. The unexpected decision came after the CPN-Maoist Centre abruptly severed ties with Sher Bahadur Deuba’s Nepali Congress party which had been in power along with its allies.
Former Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli’s Communist Party of Nepal–Unified Marxist Leninist (CPNUML) is among the parties in the new ruling coalition. Prachanda and Oli have struck an agreement to govern the country on a rotational basis, with Oli agreeing to make Prachanda Prime Minister first as per the latter’s demand.
Ironically, in 2021, it was after the Prachanda and Oli split that Sher Bahadur Deuba came to power in Kathmandu, with support from Prachanda. “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 CPNUML 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. In the new coalition, the CPN-UML has 78, Maoist Center 32, Rastriya Swatantra Party 20, Rastriya Prajatantra Party 14, Janata Samajbadi Party 12, Janamat Party 6 and Nagarik Unmukti Party has four MPs. Three independent lawmakers are also supporting Prachanda.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday congratulated Prachanda on being appointed 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.