Nepal president gives one-week deadline to parties to form new government

Nepal’s President Bidhya Devi Bhandari on Sunday asked the political parties of the country to complete the formation of a new government in a week after the national elections were held last month which produced inconclusive results. 

The country’s ruling alliance, headed by Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba’s Nepali Congress and the main opposition party, Nepal Communist Unified Marxist-Leninist (UML), will require the support of smaller groups for the new government’s formation. 

In 2008, the 239-year-old monarchy was abolished in Nepal, after which the nation of 30 million people which shares its borders with India and China, has seen the establishment of a new government ten times. 

Investors have been spooked and the economic growth has been stunned by the country’s political instability. 

In the recent election, 136 seats were clinched by the ruling alliance, two seats less than the majority of 138 seats required in the 275-member House of Representatives. Meanwhile, 92 seats were won by the UML and its allies.

The office of President Bidhya Devi Bhandari released a statement which read, “Any member of the House of Representatives, who can command the majority with the support of two or more parties” should make a claim to the prime minister’s position by 5 pm (11:15 am GMT) on December 25.

WATCH| All you need to know about the Nepal national elections

Nepali Congress party spokesperson Prakash Sharan Mahat said, “We will discuss within the (ruling) alliance and with other political parties about the formation of the new government under our leadership.”

He stated that incumbent Prime Minister Deuba is a front-runner for taking the position of prime minister for the sixth time.

(With inputs from agencies)

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