Pushpa Kamal Dahal, 61, who still uses a nom de guerre that means "Fierce", won 363 votes out of the 573 cast in the 595-member parliament, Speaker Onsari Gharti said.
He becomes the 24th prime minister in 26 years since the Himalayan nation adopted multi-party democracy in 1990 and the eighth since the 239-year-old monarchy was abolished eight years ago.

The 61-year-old CPN-Maoist Centre president's candidacy was proposed by Nepali Congress president Sher Bahadur Deuba, which was seconded by senior Maoist leader Krishna Bahadur Mahara, ahead of tomorrow's election that could bring political stability to the country.
Nepali Congress and CPN Maoist Centre signed a three- point agreement with the Madhesi Front to secure support from the Madhesi parties for their bid to form a new government led by Prachanda, the only official candidate for the race.
Madhesi parties, which have the combined strength of 42 in the 595-member Parliament, have also hinted that they would join the government led by Prachanda.
Before filing his nomination paper for the Prime Minister's election, Maoist chief Prachanda and NC chief Deuba signed the agreement with the Madhesis, mostly of Indian-origin, which assured the Madhesi communities of addressing their demands through political understanding and amendment to the Constitution.
Although the former premier with anti-India stance is only one candidate, there will be voting for and against Prachanda and it is likely that CPN-UML and its alliance will vote against him.
The Prime Minister's post has remained vacant since last week after CPN-UML chairman KP Sharma Oli tendered his resignation following the Maoist's withdrawal of support to the coalition government.
Despite media reports that a senior leader of CPN-UML, probably, former Deputy Prime Minister Bamdev Gautam, would contest against Prachanda, the party took a last-minute decision not to contest the election, clearing a way for the Maoist chief to become the 39th Prime Minister of Nepal.
He has earlier served as Nepal's Prime Minister from 2008 to 2009. As the agitating United Madhesi Front has decided to vote in favour of Prachanda, he is expected to get at least 360 votes, though only 298 votes are required for winning the election.

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