Category Archives: current-topic-views

Nepal's Left alliance wins 81 seats, heading towards majority

KATHMANDU: Nepal’s Left alliance was on Sunday heading towards a comfortable majority in the parliamentary elections, winning 81 seats so far in the historic polls that many hope will bring the political stability to the country.

The CPN-UML led by former prime minister K P Oli and the CPN-Maoist led by former premier Prachanda have forged an electoral alliance for both the provincial and parliamentary elections.

As the alliance was headed for a clear majority in the 275-member Parliament, Oli is being projected to succeed Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba.

Oli won from the Jhapa-5 constituency by more than 28,000 votes as he defeated Nepali Congress candidate Khagendra Adhikari.

He polled 57,139 votes, the highest number of votes so far secured by any candidate in the election.

According to results released by the Election Commission, the Communist Party of Nepal-Unified Marxist-Leninist (CPN- UML) has won 59 seats while its alliance partner CPN Maoist- Centre bagged 22 seats out of the total 165 seats under the first-past-the-post election system.

The ruling Nepali Congress (NC), which was the largest party in the last election, managed to win only 12 seats, according to tallies.

Two Madhesi parties, Federal Socialist Party Nepal and Rastriya Janata Party, have so far secured three Parliamentary seats each.

The Rastriya Prajatantra Party, the Naya Shakti Party led by former prime minister Baburam Bhattarai and an independent candidate have secured one seat each.

The counting of votes in the proportionate voting system was under progress.

The NC is expected to perform better in the proportionate voting, which was evident from the initial counting trends.

Although the two major communist parties are set to form the government, it is unlikely that they would secure two third majority in the election.

A Maoist leader, on the condition of anonymity, said that though the Left alliance is tilted towards the northern neighbour (China), the new government needs to strike a balance between the country’s two giant neighbours (India and China) while pursuing its foreign policy.

The two parties are also considering to merge to form the largest communist party in Nepal.

If they merge, the post of party president and the country’s president will be shared between Maoist chief Prachanda and top UML leader Madhav Kumar Nepal, according to party insiders.

UML leader Nepal has won the parliamentary election from Kathmandu-2 while Prachanda is set to win from Chitawan-3 constituency.

There was a tacit understanding among three key leaders of the alliance to share the three top posts, reliable sources have claimed.

The house of representatives consists of 275 members, of which 165 would be elected directly under the first-past-the- post system while the remaining 110 will come through the proportional representation system.

Voting in two-phased parliamentary and provincial assembly elections were held on November 26 and December 7.

In the first phase, polling was held in 32 districts, mostly situated in the hilly and mountainous region, in which 65 per cent of voters had exercised their franchise. In the second phase, 67 per cent voter turnout was registered.

A total of 1,663 candidates contested polls for parliamentary seats.

Suranga is brilliant when he gets green track: Pothas

Sri Lanka interim coach Nic Pothas was all praise for pacer Suranga Lakmal, whose 4/13 in 10 overs went a long way in island nation’s first ODI win 13 matches as they beat India by seven wickets in series opener.

Giroud strikes late to rescue Arsenal against Southampton

Olivier Giroud’s last-gasp header salvaged a point for Arsenal in a 1-1 draw at Southampton on Sunday as Arsene Wenger’s side avoided a second successive Premier League defeat.

Pope urges nuclear disarmament, climate-change solutions

VATICAN CITY: Pope Francis is calling for a world without nuclear arms and for effective measures to combat climate change.

Addressing the faithful Sunday in St. Peter’s Square, he stressed what he called “the strong link between human rights and nuclear disarmament.” Francis said working to protect the dignity of the weakest and most disadvantaged implies “also working with determination to build a world without nuclear arms.” He urged people to put intelligence and technology at the “service of peace and true progress.”

A strong crusader for the environment, Francis also expressed hope that people will realize the “need to adopt truly efficient decisions to fight climate change” while also combatting poverty.

Francis then cited the suffering from a cyclone in India that has left fishermen missing and from flooding in Albania.

Perera lauds Lakmal after Sri Lanka’s emphatic ODI win

New captain Thisara Perera Sunday hailed Suranga Lakmal as Sri Lanka’s premier fast bowler after he led the visitors to a seven-wicket win over India in the first one-day international.

ISL 2017 Live Score: Mumbai City FC vs Chennaiyin FC

Moeen urges England players to improve off-field behaviour

England’s cricketers must take responsibility for their actions and improve their off-field behaviour or risk turning a younger generation of players away from the game, all-rounder Moeen Ali said on Sunday.

Priority is to have permanent solution on public stockholding: Prabhu

BUENOS AIRES: Commerce and industry minister Suresh Prabhu on Sunday said that India is pushing for an improvement over the Bali package for its public procurement programme for foodgrains and seeking to build a coalition of developing countries to push its case and block moves for putting in place global rules for e-commerce.

“For us the priority is to have a permanent solution on public stockholding which is better than the peace clause,” Prabhu said after a meeting with European Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom, where he also flagged concerns over attempts by “some countries” to hit at the World Trade Organization (WTO) as the forum for multilateral dialogue.

The meeting comes a day before the ministerial meeting formally opens in the Argentinian capital and the Indian team was busy stitching coalitions, which have been fragile in the past. Yet, Prabhu is making attempts having held talks with South African trade minister Rob Davies, members of the G-33 coalition including Indonesia, the Philippines and China and is meeting around 20 trade ministers from developing countries later on Sunday. A bilateral meeting with China is also planned over the next couple of days.

“There are many issues but there is little consensus. The one issue on which time is ripe for a decision is public stockholding,” Davies said after meeting Prabhu.

The main thrust of these meetings is to ensure that the new formula for public stockholding of foodgrains, which will give the flexibility to the government to continue with the minimum support price regime in its current form without fear of breaching any limit, does not come with onerous conditions. For instance, the current scheme allows for going past the cap of 10% of the value of production only if all subsid levels are notified, something that only eight of the 160-odd WTO members have done.

Similarly, there are demands that the current regime should be allowed to be extended to new schemes that were not in place in December 2013, when the decision was taken in Bali. The ministerial meeting has to decide on the issue here but developed countries are looking to seek a postponement so that the can use it to get a better deal on some other issue.

During the meeting with Prabhu, Malmstrom flagged the need to start negotiations on e-commerce, with the minister responding b saying that the time was not ripe and the current mechanism of discussions at the WTO headquarters should continue.

The minister also demanded sharp reduction in subsidies to farmers in the US, EU and Japan, arguing that it was impacting competitiveness of exports from other countries.

Singapore Open: India’s Ramit Tandon marches into final

India’s Ramit Tandon, who has been making waves in the Singapore Open, a PSA World tour event, made steady progress in the tournament on Sunday.

Shakib becomes Bangladesh’s new Test captain

All-rounder Shakib Al Hasan has been named the new Test captain of Bangladesh with the upcoming Sri Lanka tour being his first assignment in the new role.

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