The Nepali Congress senior leader Ram Chandra Paudel is set to become the country’s next president after he was endorsed by eight political parties including Maoist Center Chairman and Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal “Prachanda”. The move prompted the deputy prime minister and three other ministers to resign on Saturday (February 25) as the PM did not support his coalition partner K P Sharma Oli’s candidacy. 

Paudel and Nemwang filed their nomination papers on Saturday. The 78-year-old was backed by eight political parties including the prime minister for the upcoming presidential elections which are supposed to take place next month. The incumbent Nepali President Bidya Devi Bhandari’s tenure will end on March 12. 

While Prachanda did not give a reason for his decision, Oli has since claimed that the PM told him that he was under pressure to support Paudel’s candidacy, reported PTI citing media reports. Notably, the Nepali Congress party is a former ally of Prachanda’s Maoist Centre party. However, the decision has since prompted four ministers from one of the parties of his ruling to quit, including Deputy Prime Minister Rajendra Lingden who has since resigned in protest. 


Lingden, who is also the chairman of one of the member parties of Prachanda’s ruling coalition Rastriya Prajatantra Party (RPP). “The coalition under which we joined the government is no more intact”, said the deputy PM to Reuters. He added that it would not be “proper for them to continue in the government.” 

Additionally, RPP Vice Chairman Bikram Pandey who held the ministry of urban development; leader Dhruba Bahadur Pradhan from the ministry of law, justice, and parliamentary affairs and Deepak Bahadur Singh who was the minister of state for energy have also quit, reported PTI. 


Prachanda’s office has since confirmed the four resignations but there is no clarity on whether they are accepted yet or not, as per Reuters. The upcoming presidential election has also raised questions about the future of the seven-party ruling coalition. 

(With inputs from agencies) 




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