Print Edition - 2017-06-07 | News
Deuba elected PM for fourth time
- Set to have a full plate as he has to complete the job half done by Dahal
Holding three levels of elections and endorsing the statute amendment bill will be my major priorities
Jun 7, 2017-
Nepali Congress President Sher Bahadur Deuba returned to power for a fourth time on Tuesday, 12 years after he was unceremoniously removed by then king Gyanendra.
It was plain sailing for Deuba—with 388 votes in his favour in the 593-strong Parliament—-who will be sworn in as the 40th prime minister on Wednesday, succeeding Pushpa Kamal Dahal who backed his candidacy in line with a gentleman’s agreement the duo had signed in July-August last year.
As many as 558 lawmakers voted during the prime ministerial election, with Deuba being the lone candidate, on Tuesday.
Dahal’s CPN (Maoist Centre), the Rastriya Prajatantra Party, Rastriya Janata Party-Nepal (RJP-N), Sanghiya Samajbadi Forum-Nepal, Nepal Loktantrik Forum and CPN (Samyukta) among others voted for Deuba.
The RJP-N, which has 25 seats in Parliament, voted for Deuba after reaching a three-point deal as per which the new NC-Maoist Centre government has to address the agitating party’s demand of constitution amendment.
“Holding three levels of elections and endorsing the constitution amendment bill will be my major priorities,” said PM-elect Deuba while talking briefly to the media after his election.
In his address to Parliament while making a case for his candidacy, Deuba said his first priority would be holding the second phase of local elections in a free and fair manner on June 28 and conduct provincial and national polls by January 21 next year.
He claimed that addressing the concerns of the Madhes-based parties through constitution amendment would be his second priority.
“Developing effective local governance by empowering local bodies, expediting reconstruction of the earthquake-ravaged structures, economic development by attracting foreign and national investors and completing the transitional justice would be the major focus of my government,” he said.
The 71-year-old veteran NC leader, however, has a chequered past, with critics often blaming him for “handing over democracy to the royal palace”.
He was removed by then king Gyanendra twice—in 2002 and 2005.
Since then, the country has gone through a sea change.
Addressing the agitating parties’ demand of constitution amendment and holding three elections would be his immediate challenges.
Coming days will put his political acumen to the test, experts say.
Born in western district of Dadeldhura on June 13, 1946, Deuba made his foray into politics when he was a student.
Deuba, the founding central member of Nepal Student Union, rose through the ranks and became home minister in 1991 in the GP Koirala-led Cabinet. He became the prime minister first time in 1995, and a year later Dahal’s Maoist party waged an armed struggle after Deuba brushed off its 40-point demand.
When he was the prime minister second time in 2001-2002, his Cabinet offered a bounty of Rs 5 million for Dahal. But 15 years later, Deuba and Dahal now are on the same page, promising to work together to institutionalise the gains through constitution implementation and elections.
Sher Bahadur Deuba
Born June 17, 1946
’71: Elected as Nepal Student Union (NSU) president
’91: Leads NC to sweeping victory in the Far West winning 18 of the 19 seats in the first parliamentary polls
Dec ’91-Sept ’94: Home minister
Sept 12, ’95-March 12, ’97: Becomes PM for the first time, leaves office after losing vote confidence
Dec ’99: Heads a high-level govt team to hold talks with the rebel Maoists
July 26, ’01: Becomes PM for the second time
Oct 4, ’02: Sacked by then king Gyanendra on charge of ‘incompetence’
2002: Forms Nepali Congress (Democratic)
June 3, ’04: Becomes PM for the third time
Feb 1, ’05: Removed from office; Gyanendra assumes absolute power
’07: Two NC factions reunite; Deuba becomes senior leader of the united party
March ’16: Elected as 8th NC President
June 6, ’17: Elected 40th prime minister
Published: 07-06-2017 07:47