KATHMANDU, June 4: Nepali Congress (NC) President Sher Bahadur Deuba is poised to get votes closer to two-thirds majority in the prime ministerial election scheduled for Tuesday.
Deuba’s candidacy has already been backed by CPN (Maoist Center), Nepal Loktantrik Forum, CPN (Samyukta), Federal Democratic National Front (Tharuhat), Samajvadi Janata Party, Nepali Janata Dal, Khambuwan Rastriya Morcha-Nepal, Akhanda Party Nepal, Janajagaran Party Nepal and an independent candidate. Together, these parties command 313 votes of the total 593 votes in parliament.
On Sunday, Rastriya Prajatantra Party Nepal and Upendra Yadav-led Federal Socialist Forum Nepal announced to support Deuba for new prime minister. These two parties alone have 52 seats in parliament.
NC leader Ramesh Lekhak said they are in talks with all political parties to secure at least two-thirds votes [396 votes] for Deuba. “Rastriya Janata Party Nepal has assured us that it would support our candidate during the prime ministerial election,” said Lekhak, who is closely involved in inter-party negotiations to form a Deuba-led government.
The RJPN, which was formed through a merge of six Madhes-based parties, has 25 seats in parliament. The parties had extended support to Pushpa Kamal Dahal-led government after the latter expressed commitment to amend the new constitution to address their grievances.
Analysts say if Deuba is able to garner two-thirds votes then he might be able to pass a disputed constitution amendment bill from parliament. Earlier, repeated attempts by the Dahal-led government to pass the bill failed due to non-cooperation by some of the parties in the ruling coalition itself.