Nepal’s ‘fierce’ ex-guerrilla chief becomes new prime minister

A Maoist guerrilla leader in a decade-long rebellion against Nepal’s Hindu monarchy was appointed on Sunday as prime minister. He is in alliance with the main opposition parties after the election that returned a hung legislature last month.

Officials from the party said that Pushpa Kamal, still known as Prachanda, will lead the government during the first half of the five-year-long term. He has the support of the Communist Unified Marxist-Leninist party (UML), and other small groups.

Tika Dhakal (an aide to President Bidhya Devi Bhandari) told Reuters that he was appointed and has the support of a large majority of parliament.

Prachanda will succeed Sher Bahadur Debuba, the Nepali Congress party’s leader, in 2025. This will allow the UML to assume the office, according to local media.

This is the agreement. After a meeting with the coalition, Dev Gurung (general secretary) of Prachanda’s Maoist Centre party said to Reuters that there is much work left in the distribution of other key posts and ministries.

Hours after Prachanda (68), unexpectedly resigned from the ruling coalition led by Deuba, of the Nepali Congress party, the new coalition is in power. Deuba did not support Prachanda’s bid for prime minister.

Prachanda and Deuba both ran in November’s election, promising to preserve the alliance for many years.

Prachanda’s Maoist Centre Party won 32 seats in the House of Representatives, which has 275 members. UML holds 78 seats. The rest required to achieve the 138 majorities will be held by smaller groups.

The main opposition will control 89 of the seats through the Nepali Congress party.

An analysis found that Prachanda is unlikely to bring stability to the country due to his many coalition partners. He faces severe economic problems.

The highest inflation rate in six years is over 8%. Nepal is located between India and China but faces declining foreign currency reserves. This means that Nepal has increased its dependence on imported basic goods.

Deependra Bahadur Kshetri, former governor of the central bank, stated to Reuters that it was unlikely the economy would grow because political instability could spook investments and businesses.

Since 2008, when the 239 year-old monarchy was abolished in Nepal, Nepal has experienced 10 changes to its government.


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