Article published on the 2008-07-21 Latest update 2008-07-21 13:28 TU
Centrist Ram Baran Yadav was voted in on Monday as Nepal's first president, a largely ceremonial position. But political deadlock is feared as the Maoists, the dominant party in parliament, threaten to delay the next steps in forming a new government. Yadav's victory means that Maoists may be blocked from achieving key campaign pledges, including land reform.
"We are happy that common man's son has become the first president of Republic Nepal. Yadav is not of the Nepali Congress, but of all the people of Nepal," said Bimalendra Nidhi, the party's general secretary.
Yadav won 308 of the 590 votes in the Constitutional Assembly to bring weeks of political deadlock to an end.
"We haven't decided how the Maoist party is going to go ahead," said Maoist spokesman Krishna Mahara. "We might not go to form the government, but we haven't decided yet," he said. Mahara said that the Maoists had ended a decade of civil war to enter mainstream politics.
Analysts indicate that if the Maoists do not want to participate, there could be renewed political strife in the young republic. The defeat of the Maoist candidate Ramraja Prasad Singh may make it more difficult for them to get promised legislation passed.