Nepali Congress emerges largest party, lacks majority to form govt in Nepal

The Nepali Congress on Tuesday emerged as the largest party with 196 seats in the newly elected Constituent Assembly, but failed short of a majority to form a government on its own to end the political deadlock gripping Nepal for years.

The Election Commission (EC) said the Nepali Congress led by Sushil Koirala won maximum number of seats under the Proportional Representation (PR) category and direct voting.

Jhalanath Khanal-led CPN (UML) won 175 seats, followed by Prachanda's UCPN-Maoist with 80 seats in the November 19 vote to elect the 601-member Constituent Assembly.

The NC has gained 91 PR seats, followed by the CPN (UML) with 84, UCPN-M with 54 and Rastriya Prajatantra Party-Nepal (RPP-N) with 24 seats.

A party needs a total of 301 seats to get an absolute majority in the assembly.

The number of political parties representing in the new assembly was fixed on the basis of PR seats allocated to the different political parties by the EC following the number of PR votes they garnered in the elections.

The EC had announced December 10 as the deadline for the political parties to submit the name list of the candidates as per the seats allocated under the PR.

The Nepali Congress has won 105 seats under the direct election to 240 seats, followed by CPN-UML with 91 seats. UCPN-Maoist grabbed 26 seats.

Twenty-two political parties participated in the PR system under the Constituent Assembly election. Some 10,709 candidates had vied for 335 seats under the PR system. Candidates for the remaining 26 seats will be nominated.

UCPN (Maoist)-led 16 party alliance did not participate in today's meeting.

The alliance has been demanding a probe into the alleged irregularities in the elections by forming an independent commission.

Nepal has been facing a constitutional crisis for last five years after the first Constituent Assembly was dissolved without promulgating the Constitution last year. Fresh elections scheduled for November 2012 were not held, plunging the country deeper into political and constitutional turmoil.

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