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Deuba set to remain PM as Nepali Congress party wins most seats

Forming a new government could take days as the Deuba-led coalition has two fewer seats than the majority in the 275-member parliament.

The Nepalese Congress has become the largest party in last month’s general election, with incumbent Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba set to stay for a sixth term.

The ruling party won 89 seats in the 275-member parliament, according to a count of the election commission’s results released on Wednesday.

The formation of a new government could take days as a five-party alliance led by the Nepalese Congress secured 136 seats in parliament, short of two seats to secure a 138 majority.

The alliance that has been in power since July last year said they had sought the support of some new lawmakers and parties to secure the necessary majority.

Sher Bahadur Deuba addresses reporters in Kathmandu [File: Navesh Chitrakar/Reuters]

Nepal Congress spokesman Prakaksh Sharan Mahat said the head of the newly formed Janamat party, CK Raut, met with Deuba, aged 76, and pledged support for a new government. Mahat’s party won six seats in parliament.

“I have no doubt that he will become the prime minister of the new government,” Mahat said, referring to Deuba.

The Nepalese Communist United Marxist Leninist Party (UML), led by Deuba’s main rival, KP Sharma Oli, won 92 seats.

The Prime Minister is elected with the support of at least half of the total number of MPs.

Interactive_Nepal_Elections_2022_How Elections Work

Considered close to India, Deuba is in a better position to gain support for a majority, analysts said.

Strategic and economic interests with neighboring countries China and India were one of the main issues in Nepal’s national elections. The UML is considered closer to China.

The lower house of Nepal has a total of 275 members, 165 of whom are directly elected and the remaining 110 are elected by the political parties, with seats allocated in proportion to the votes they receive.

“The current ruling alliance will most likely form a new government because it needs the support of only a few members that can be won easily,” said Krishna Khanal, a retired political science professor at Tribhuvan University in Kathmandu.

Nepal has had 10 different governments since 2008, when it abolished a 239-year-old monarchy. Since then, the Nepal Congress, UML and Maoist Center have emerged as ruling parties, but none have served a full five-year term due to infighting and infighting.

New faces

The November 20 elections witnessed a new wave of youth challenging the old guard hegemony of Nepalese politics, with a handful of them winning and many others garnering substantial votes.

Analysts said the victory of younger candidates is a sign of voter frustration with the old parties.

Younger politicians are also trying to make their mark within the established parties.

Gagan Thapa, a young legislator from Deuba’s party, has promised to challenge Deuba when the party deputies elect the prime minister.

The election results of the seven provincial assemblies, which were held together with parliamentary elections, showed that no party had won a clear majority.

Party officials said leaders in all provinces will form alliances.

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Merry

Merry C. Vega is a highly respected and accomplished news author. She began her career as a journalist, covering local news for a small-town newspaper. She quickly gained a reputation for her thorough reporting and ability to uncover the truth.

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