Kathmandu, Feb 9 IANS | 10 months ago

Nepali Congress chief Sushil Koirala Sunday filed his nomination papers for the post of prime minister, after the CPN-UML, the second largest party in parliament, decided to extend support to a government led by him.

Election to the prime minister's post will be held Monday.

The 74-year-old Koirala, who is also the Nepali Congress parliamentary party leader, was accompanied by party vice president Ram Chandra Poudel and K.P. Oli, parliamentary party leader of the Communist Party of Nepal-Unified Marxist-Leninist (CPN-UML) when he wen to file his nomination papers.

Considered "Mr. Clean" in Nepali politics, Koirala has never held any public office.

Koirala, who is single, belongs to Nepal's famous Koirala clan which, like the Nehru-Gandhi family of India and the Bhuttos of Pakistan, has been deeply involved in the country's democratic struggle.

If Sushil Koirala becomes the prime minister, he will be the fourth from his family after Matrika Prasad Koirala (1951-52 and 1953-55), Bishweshwar Prasad Koirala (1959-60) and Girija Prasad Koirala (1991-94, 1998-99, 2000-01 and 2007-08).

After filing his nomination papers, Koirala said he was hopeful of delivering a new constitution within a year.

"Responsibility to draft a democratic constitution has shifted to the Nepali Congress and CPN-UML. We are hopeful that we will deliver a new constitution within a year. I will definitely work with the other parties to fulfill this historic responsibility," he said.

He said there was a "strong desire" within the country and outside for peace by delivering a new constitution.

"It is my commitment that we will able to come up with such a draft by six months and will promulgate a new constitution by a year," Koirala told media persons at the assembly building.

"I have also spoken with Maoist chairman Prachanda for his support, to which his reply has been positive," he said.

The last Constituent Assembly was formed in 2008 with an objective to draft a new constitution within two years. It, however, failed to deliver even after repeated extensions of its tenure and was dissolved in 2012.

(Posted on 09-02-2014)

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