As consensus eluded the Presidential poll, two candidates—Ram Chandra Poudel of Nepali Congress and Subhash Chandra Nembang of the Communist Party of Nepal–Unified Marxist Leninist– filed their nomination for the March nine poll that will elect the third Head of the state.
The decision to have Poudel as the candidate for the post at the joint initiative of Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal (Prachanda), and the main opposition Nepali congress chief Sher Bahadur Deuba, triggered an instant reaction from the Rashtriya Prajatantra Party (RPP) as the party not only had its ministers recalled, but also announced withdrawal of the support to the Prachanda led government.
The CPN-UML, the biggest coalition partner in the government, however, chose to remain in the cabinet till the elections. The RPP is the second party to recall its ministers from the government, the first being the Rashtriya Swatantra Party last month. Led by Deputy Prime Minister Rajendra Lingden, all the three ministers of the party submitted their resignation to Prime Minister Dahal amidst speculations that he may sack them given their refusal to back Poudel.
Inside the Nepali Congress, Krishna Prasad Sitauala, who was hoping to be the joint candidate, faced yet another setback in his declining political career.
Similarly, former Chief Justice Khil Raj Regmi who had also been making rounds of power centres to be considered for the post as a ‘neutral person’, came out loser as no party backed him.
Both Poudel and Nembang filed their nomination papers with requisite set of proposers and seconders in the afternoon. Oli, in his letter to members of the Electoral college consisting of MPs and members of the provincial legislature, has requested them to have Nembang elected for the post.