Nepali Congress President Sushil Koirala has been elected the 37th prime minister of Nepal, nearly three months after the second Constituent Assembly polls. He was the lone candidate in the voting held at the Legislature-Parliament today.
The new coalition government under Koirala will replace the bureaucratic government led by Chief Justice Khil Raj Regmi that was formed in March last year to hold the second Constituent Assembly election.
During a voting conducted at the Legislature-Parliament today, the proposal to elect Koirala as the new prime minister secured 405 votes and 148 votes were cast against him. Of the 571 lawmakers, 553 were present during the election.
Koirala's party, NC, which emerged as the largest party in the November 19 election, has 194 seats in the CA.
In his address to the House, Koirala assured of holding local body election within six months and promulgate new constitution within a year. He also pledged to finish the pending tasks of peace process, put an end to the strikes and strengthen relations with neighboring countries. He also stressed on the need for unity and coordination among the political parties. He also thanked the CPN-UML for its crucial support in forming the new government.
Koirala's victory became certain following an agreement between the NC and the CPN-UML on Sunday.
The agreement reached after the marathon talks held at Constituent Assembly building in New Baneshwor said that the parties will go for a fresh election of the President, Vice President and prime minister “immediately after the promulgation of the new constitution within a year.”
Koirala, who has been elected as the 37th prime minister, is the sixth PM after the first CA election in 2008. Koirala is the fourth member of his extended family to become prime minister in Nepal's history.
Koirala entered politics in 1954 inspired by the social-democratic ideals of the NC. He was in political exile in India for 16 years following the royal takeover of 1960. While in exile, Koirala was the editor of Tarun, the official party publication.
A devoted member of the NC, Koirala once spent three years in an Indian prison for his involvement in the hijacking of a plane.
He has been a member of the NC Central Working Committee since 1979 and was appointed General Secretary of the party in 1996 and Vice President in 1998.
In 2001, he lost the contest for the NC Parliamentary Party leader to Sher Bahadur Deuba.
Koirala was appointed acting President of the party in 2008 by late President Girija Prasad Koirala. On September 22, 2010, the 12th general convention of the NC elected him as party President.
The NC emerged as the largest party in the 2013 Constituent Assembly elections under Koirala's leadership. He was elected leader of the NC Parliamentary party securing 105 out of 194 votes against former Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba's 89 votes.