Bhattarai for national govt to end political deadlock

Last Updated: Sunday, May 15, 2011 - 20:55

Kathmandu: Top Maoist leader Baburam
Bhattarai Sunday underlined the need for a national government
in the country, amid the political deadlock over Nepal`s peace
process that has delayed the promulgation of a new
constitution.

Bhattarai, Vice-Chairman of the largest political
party UCPN-Maoist, said a national government should be formed
either by replacing the current coalition or by the inclusion
of main opposition Nepali Congress and Madhes-based parties.

He claimed the parties are making efforts to form a
national government before May 28, the deadline for the
promulgation of a new constitution.

His comments came amid stepped up pressure by the
opposition parties for the formation of a national coalition
before they agree to extend the term of the parliament, which
expires in two weeks.

The coalition led by Prime Minister Jhala Nath Khanal
on May 12 registered a constitution amendment bill in the
601-member Constituent Assembly, which acts as the country`s
interim parliament, proposing a one-year extension for the
House.

The government, which does not have the required
two-thirds majority for the endorsement of the bill, needs the
support of the opposition parties for extending the term of
the House.

Talking to reporters in eastern Nepal`s Biratnagar
airport, Bhattarai said the Maoist proposed the extension of
the Assembly`s term in a bid to push forward the peace process
and draft the constitution.

Underlining the need for consensus, Bhattarai said the
past three years have exposed the consequences of differences.

Stating that the Maoists do not want any more conflict
in the country, he said there is no alternative to consensus
in order to guarantee the accomplishment of the peace process
and draft the constitution.

The non-Maoist parties have made it clear that
drafting a constitution and concluding the peace process was
not possible unless the Maoists agree to rehabilitate their
combatants, return the seized property and dismantle their
paramilitary youth wing, Young Communist League.

Meanwhile, the Maoists today set up a new students
wing, All Nepal National Free Students Union (Revolutionary).

The Maoists` youth wing has been slammed by other parties for
resorting to violence and intimidation to push forward their
political agenda.

Nepal has been faced with political instability since
the landmark 2008 Constituent Assembly election.

Normal life in districts close to the capital was
crippled today due to strike called by different ethnic and
regional groups agitating for greater rights in the
constitution.

The shutdown enforced by ethnic groups, including
Nepal Chhetri Samaj, affected normal life in Chitawan, Kavre,
Dhading and other nearby districts.

PTI



First Published: Sunday, May 15, 2011 - 20:55

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