Nepal: Prachanda Re-Elected as Maoist President
Prachanda, the powerful Maoist leader who became Prime Minister after toppling the 239-year-old monarchy in Nepal, was today re-elected as the president of the ruling UCPN-Maoist party.

58-year-old Prachanda, whose real name is Pushpa Kamal Dahal, was re-elected as the party's president during its seventh general convention which concluded in Hetauda today.

"We have successfully concluded our convention. Now, the country will head towards elections for parliament," Prachanda told delegates gathered at the meeting after his re-election.

"As chairman of our party, I will use all my strength to steer the party and the country in a new direction," he said.

The ruling party's general convention also elected 90 out of 150 central committee members. Other members will be nominated by the President, according to the party sources.

The Maoists fought a decade long civil war with the royal forces which ended in 2006 after which the rebels joined mainstream politics and came to power two years later.

Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai and Deputy Prime Minister Narayan Kaji Shrestha have been elected first and second Vice President respectively. Posta Bahadur Bogati has been elected as General Secretary of the party.

Nepal plunged into political crisis after a 601-member interim legislature elected to draft a post-war Constitution was dissolved by Maoist Prime Minister Bhattarai in May last year.

Elections promised for November were also shelved amid serious differences among the main political parties over who should lead a national unity government.

Prachanda has made it clear that the party cannot quit the government unless the Constituent Assembly elections are guaranteed under a new government.
Emerging story. Watch this space for updates as more details come in
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