5 of 7 CM candidates named

- TIKA R PRADHAN, Kathmandu

Feb 10, 2018-

The process to form provincial governments has moved a step forward with chief minister candidates decided in five out of the seven provinces so far. On Friday, the CPN-UML elected its parliamentary party (PP) leaders in province 1 and 3 through vote to lead two provincial governments.

As the left alliance has a majority in six provinces, all those elected as PP leaders are sure to be appointed chief ministers once governors invite the party having a majority to form the provincial government.

Sherdhan Rai was elected the UML PP leader in Province 1 with 26 votes against 24 of Bhim Acharya, a party secretary and in-charge of the party’s provincial committee. The UML has 51 members in the 93-strong provincial assembly. Rai is close to party Chairman KP Sharma Oli while Acharya supports the Madhav Nepal faction. “We elected Sherdhan Rai as the PP leader today. He will pick the speaker candidate in consultation with PP members and party leaders soon,” said Hikmat Karki, a member of the UML parliamentary party in Province 1.

In Province 3, Dormani Poudel has been elected the PP leader defeating party Vice-chairperson and province in-charge Asta Laxmi Shakya by 10 votes. Earlier, both Shakya and Rajendra Pande from the Nepal faction had announced to fight for the position but after Pande withdrew his candidacy, Oli faction fielded oldest member of the assembly Dormani Poudel.

Shakya, who was earlier tipped to be the chief minister of Province 3, expressed disatisfaction at the outcome saying that Chairman Oli had deceived her. “We wanted the party to select the PP leader as per the spirit of Province 3 but we have to accept the result,” said Basanta Manandhar, a UML member. This has ended the prospect of a woman being appointed the chief minister in any of the provinces.

The provincial assembly is set to elect its speaker on Saturday for which the UML has floated the name of Sanu Shrestha. The Maoist Centre has already nominated Radhika Tamang of Nuwakot for the deputy speaker responsibility in Province 3.

The UML Parliamentary Party is scheduled to elect the chief minister candidate in Province 4 on Sunday. Prithvi Subba Gurung and Kiran Gurung from the party are vying for the top post. Considered close to Oli, Prithvi is the party secretary while Kiran is in charge of the provincial committee. “We will elect the PP leader on Sunday,” said Prithvi.

UML leader Shankar Pokhrel is set to become the chief minister as the party has already elected him the PP leader of Province 5. The CPN (Maoist Centre) has selected Mahendra Bahadur Shahi as the PP leader of Province 6 and Trilochan Bhatta as the PP leader in Province 7. Since the Maoists will get CMs of provinces 6 and 7 in a power-sharing deal with the UML, Shahi and Bhatta are set to be elected the candidates. In Province 2, the Madhesi alliance has a majority to form the government but the CM candidate has yet to be agreed to.



Chief minister candidates

Province 1 Sherdhan Rai UML

Province 3 Dormani Poudel UML

Province 5 Shankar Pokharel UML

Province 6 Mahendra Bahadur Shahi Maoist Centre

Province 7 Trilochan Bhatta Maoist Centre

Published: 10-02-2018 06:25

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