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From Rebel To a Prime Minister For The Third time Running

 

In accordance with an agreement made with another party, Pushpa Kamal Dahal, also known as Prachanda, would lead the new administration until 2025.

After last month's election resulted in a hung parliament, a former Maoist leader who oversaw a decade-long uprising against Nepal's monarchy was chosen as prime minister for the third time in coalition with the main opposition.

The opposition communist Unified Marxist-Leninist (UML) party and other relatively small organisations will support Pushpa Kamal Dahal in leading the new government for the first two years of the five-year term, according to party officials on Sunday. Pushpa Kamal Dahal continues to go by his pen name Prachanda, which means "terrible" or "fierce."

President Bidhya Devi Bhandari's adviser Tika Dhakal informed the news agency Reuters that "he has been appointed and commands the support of a vast majority of parliament." Prachanda will take the oath of office on Monday and, later this week, demonstrate his majority in the 275-member house. Seven parties have formally endorsed him.

According to local media, Prachanda, who succeeds Sher Bahadur Deuba of the Nepali Congress party, will leave office in 2025 to make room for the UML to assume the position. Dev Gurung, the general secretary of Prachanda's Maoist Centre party, stated that there was still work to be done about distributing important other jobs and ministries. After Prachanda, age 68, abruptly quit the government-led coalition headed by Deuba, age 76, hours later, the new alliance assumed control.

Deuba declined to support Prachanda for the position of prime minister despite the Nepali Congress becoming the single-largest party following the elections on November 20. Prachanda's Maoist Centre party gained 32 seats in the 275-member House of Representatives. The remaining 138 seats are not held by the UML but by minor organisations, which are needed to reach the 138-majority threshold.

During the almost 17,000-person civil war in Nepal from 1996 to 2006, which also ended the 239-year-old monarchy, Prachanda was hiding in the bush. The Maoists abandoned their armed uprising in 2006, joined a peace process backed by the UN, and transitioned into mainstream politics. Prachanda held the position of prime minister for a brief time twice, in 2008–09 and 2016–17. According to analysts, Prachanda's large coalition of allies made it improbable that it would bring peace to the nation. He also has significant financial difficulties. The inflation level is above 8%, the highest in six years. Along with declining foreign exchange reserves, Nepal is becoming more dependent on imports of essential products. 

According to former central bank governor Deependra Bahadur Kshetri, "it is uncertain that the economy will improve since political instability will frighten investors and enterprises." Political unrest, regular government changes, and party disputes have slowed Nepal and have been cited as reasons for the country's sluggish economic growth and delays in drafting the constitution. Since 2008, when the monarchy was dissolved, the Himalayan nation has gone through ten different administrations.


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