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Nepal PM wins confidence vote in parliament


The vote was held after Pushpa Kamal Dahal’s old allies withdrew from the government over the election of a new president.

Nepal’s Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal has won a vote of confidence in parliament after gaining support from the opposition Nepal Congress Party and other smaller groups, who are now expected to join his new cabinet.

His old coalition partners withdrew from government last month after he selected an opposition candidate to become the next president. Prime ministers must face confidence votes after an ally withdraws support.

Dahal — a former Maoist rebel commander who still goes by the nom de guerre Prachanda, meaning “fierce” — is expected to unveil a coalition this week with the Nepal Congress Party and nine other smaller groups, including his Maoist Center Party.

He received 172 votes to 89 against in the 275-seat parliament on Monday, chairman Devraj Ghimire said.

“I pledge to be strongly committed to social justice, good governance and prosperity, and turn the trust you have given into energy,” Dahal wrote on Twitter after the result.

The 68-year-old became prime minister for a third time in December, leading a coalition with the liberal communist United Marxist-Leninist Party (UML) and royalists.

The Allies left amid disagreements over his support for Ram Chandra Paudel, a Nepalese Congress party candidate, for president.

Paudel was elected on March 9 as the third president of the republic of 30 million people nestled between China and India.

Nepal has had 11 governments since it abolished its 239-year-old monarchy in 2008 and became a republic. The president is a largely ceremonial head of state.

Analysts said Dahal could face challenges in forming his new cabinet. “It could be difficult for the prime minister to distribute ministerial posts and satisfy ambitious allies,” Bipin Adhikari, a constitutional expert, told Reuters news agency.

Dahal is already in the middle of another crisis. The Supreme Court is hearing a petition demanding his arrest and an investigation into his leadership during a decade-long civil war that killed thousands before ending in 2006.

At a public rally three years ago, Dahal said he was willing to take responsibility for 5,000 deaths during the civil war, blaming then-state forces for the remaining fatalities.

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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