Who is Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’, the new Prime Minister of Nepal?


Who is Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’, the new Prime Minister of Nepal? (Photo: President’s Office, Nepal)

Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ has become the new Prime Minister of Nepal. Chairman of the CPN-Maoist Centre, Prachanda has been appointed by President Bidya Devi Bhandari as per Article 76 Clause 2 of the Constitution, according to a statement issued by the President’s Office.

Prachanda is being appointed as the Prime Minister of Nepal for the third time. The President had called any member of the House of Representatives, who can garner a majority with support from two or more parties as stipulated in Article 76 clause 2 of the Constitution to submit a claim for the Prime Minister’s post.

The 68-year-old Prachanda had submitted the claim before the deadline given by the President expired at 5 pm on Sunday. The swearing-in ceremony of the newly-appointed Prime Minister will take place at 4 pm on Monday, according to the President’s Office.

Who is Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’? 

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 decade-long armed insurgency.

He led the decade-long armed struggle from 1996 to 2006 that ultimately ended with signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement in November 2006.

Prachanda along with CPN-UML chairman K P Sharma Oli, Rastriya Swatantra Party (RSP) president Ravi Lamichhane, Rastriya Prajatantra Party chief Rajendra Lingden among other top leaders earlier went to the President’s Office with a proposal to appoint him as the new Prime Minister, sources said.

Prachanda has support of 165 lawmakers in the 275-member House of Representatives which includes CPN-UML with 78, CPN-MC with 32, RSP with 20, RPP with 14, JSP with 12, Janamat with 6 and Nagarik Unmukti Party with 3.

New Nepal government

Earlier, a crucial meeting was held at former prime minister Oli’s residence where CPN-Maoist Centre and other smaller parties agreed to form a government under the leadership of ‘Prachanda’.

There has been an understanding between Prachanda and Oli to lead the government on a rotation basis and Oli agreed to make Prachanda Prime Minister at the first chance as per his demand.

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“As the largest party the Nepali Congress failed to form a government under its leadership as per Article 76(2) of the Constitution within the president’s deadline. Now, the CPN-UML has taken the initiative to form the new government under the leadership of Prachanda with the support of 165 lawmakers,” Shankar Pokharel, CPN-UML general secretary, told reporters after the meeting.

Earlier in the day, Prachanda walked out of the Nepali Congress led five-party alliance after Prime Minister and Nepali Congress president Sher Bahadur Deuba rejected his bid to become the Prime Minister in the first round.

(With inputs from PTI)

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