♦ Alliance also secures majority in lower house
♦ K P Sharma Oli is tipped to be next prime minister
Nepal's Communist parties have secured a majority of seats in the upper house of parliament, the election commission said yesterday, paving the way for the leftist alliance to form the next government two months after historic general elections.
The alliance of the main Communist party and former Maoist rebels won a strong majority in the indirectly elected upper house, according to results announced yesterday.
The results of the national vote held late last year have not yet been confirmed, but an incomplete tally suggests the alliance also secured a majority in the directly elected lower house.
Last year's landmark elections capped Nepal's rocky 11-year transition from monarchy to federal democracy after a brutal civil war between Maoist guerrillas and the state.
The elections were the first under the country's new post-war constitution, which sets out a sweeping overhaul of the political system, devolving significant power from the centre to the seven provinces.
The final results were delayed by disagreements over how the new election rules in the constitution should be implemented.
But the alliance is on course to take a majority of seats in the lower house of parliament, elected through a mix of first-past-the-post and proportional representation.
"We hope the wait for a new prime minister will now be over," the English-language Republica newspaper said in an editorial.
The leader of the Communist CPN-UML, K.P. Sharma Oli, is tipped to be the next prime minister.
During his last term in office, relations between Nepal and its traditional ally India reached a nadir, as the Communist leader cosied up to China.