KATHMANDU (Reuters) - Nepal's parliament elected former Maoist rebel chief Prachanda, who led a decade-long insurgency that toppled a Hindu monarchy, as prime minister on Wednesday after predecessor K.P. Oli resigned rather than face defeat in a vote of no confidence.

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.

(Reporting by Gopal Sharma; Editing by Robert Birsel)