Kathmandu: Nepal's President on Sunday directed its Parliament to elect a new prime minister by a majority vote in a bid to end the political crisis, as Madhav Kumar Nepal, leader of the third largest party Communist Party of Nepal (United Marxist Leninist) and of Indian origin, emerged as a frontrunner.
With political parties failing to meet a Saturday midnight deadline to forge a consensus government after Maoist leader Prachanda's abrupt resignation as prime minister last week, President Ram Baran Yadav threw the ball into the Constituent Assembly's court asking it to choose a prime minister who will form the next government.
"The parties did not reach a consensus and name a single candidate so the president has asked Parliament to choose a new Prime Minister by majority vote," Yadav's press advisor Rajendra Dahal said about the fresh notice sent to the political parties by the President.
This means that whosoever can muster the support of 301 members in the 601-member Parliament will be appointed as the new premier.
No date has been set for the vote till now.
Moderate leftists, the CPN-UML, at its central body meeting on Saturday, decided to try and form a new government under its leadership with the support of other parties, according to Shanker Pokharel, a central member of the third largest party.
Nepal, the 56-year-old veteran communist leader of ethnic Indian origin could become the next prime minister, according to a senior leader who did not want to be named.
The leader said most of the central committee members "are for proposing Nepal as the prime ministerial candidate".
"There is hardly any dispute within the party on his candidacy," he underlined.