Prachanda (L), chairman of the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) (CPN-M), attends the Constituent Assembly (CA) meeting in Kathmandu, capital of Nepal, on Aug. 15, 2008. Prachand was elected the first prime minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal by the CA on Friday. (Xinhua/Bimal Gautam)
KATHMANDU, Aug. 15 (Xinhua) -- Prachanda, Chairman of
the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) (CPN-M), was elected the first prime
minister of Republic of Nepal by the Constituent Assembly CA)on Friday evening.
He defeated former Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba,
the Nepali Congress candidate in the CA voting.
Prachanda, meaning "the fierce", is Pushpa Kamal
Dahal's party name in the single largest CA party, CPN-M.
In February 1996, the CPN-M tendered its 40-point
demands to Deuba-led government and launched an "armed revolution" against the
government after its demands were rejected.
Later, the government led by Deuba declared the CPN-M
as a terrorist group and fixed heavy cash reward to those who could produce the
head of the CPN-M leaders, especially of Prachanda.
The CPN-M, after fighting a decade long civil war in
which more than 13,000 people died, signed a peace deal in November 2006 and
entered the mainstream politics.
The CPN-M became the single largest party in Nepal
after a surprising victory in the CA election held in April this year. Prachanda
won two constituencies, namely Kathmandu and Rolpa, where his party began the
As his party changed its policy, Prachanda, who waged
"the people's war" in the hills and plains of Nepal demanding republic and
restructuring of the country, has also turned into a charismatic leader while
shifting his political ideology of bullets into ballots.
Although he never fought himself, Prachanda became
the chief military strategist and Supreme Commander of his armed forces, "the
People's Liberation Army" (PLA). However, before the prime minister election
voting in Friday afternoon, CPN-M leader Baburam Bhattarai declared in the CA
that Prachanda, among other CPN-M CA members, have given up PLA posts.
Prachanda ended his nearly three-decade-long
underground politics in 2006 when the CPN-M and other mainstream parties became
successful to compel the former King Gyanendra to end his direct rule after a
successful April uprising.
Prachanda said he would lead the Himalayan country to
a new and prosperous future. "The new government will focus on writing the new
constitution within two years and lead the peace process to a conclusion," he
said after filing his nominations for the post of prime minister on Thursday.
"Nepali people have given us a great responsibility.
We will do a miracle in this country by doing economic revolution," he said
after the CPN-M won the elections in April, promising that his party would
transform the poor country into a new Nepal.
"It's an epoch making day that has become possible
after a long struggle of the Nepali people," Prachanda said after the newly
elected CA declared to abolish the Shah monarchy and declared republic in the
country on May 28.
Before CA election, Prachanda said that he was ready
to be the president if the people voted for his party. But his party made a
makeshift in policy after the constitution was amended giving president only
ceremonial duties and the prime minister with the chief executive of the state.
Married and with three children, Prachanda was born
into a high Brahmin caste family on Dec. 11, 1954 in the Kaski district, some
140 km west of Nepali capital Kathmandu.
A former school teacher, Prachanda once was a
brilliant student and gained a bachelor's degree in agriculture.
He was attracted to communism after he witnessed
extreme poverty in rural Nepal and joined the left communist parties in his
youth, Prachanda told Xinhua in former interviews.
But his party has a long list of challenges and
problems to be solved in the new republic.
The challenges include making new constitution,
fulfilling the promises given to party supporters during war, giving economic
relief to the people, integrating the CPN-M army in the national armed forces,
ending the flood of protests continued in the improvised nation and so on.