Indian envoy meets Nepal amid deepening political crisis

Last Updated: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 - 20:57

Kathmandu: Indian Ambassador Rakesh Sood
Wednesday met Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal amid the deepening
political crisis that could leave the country without a
functioning legislature by the weekend.

The Indian ambassador here, who met the Prime Minister
at his residence this morning, held discussion on bilateral
issues including the ongoing dialogues among the political
parties to resolve the prolonged deadlock over the extension
of the Constituent Assembly`s tenure, the Kantipur online
reported.

Ambassador Sood also voiced concern over the deepening
political crisis, it said.

Amid growing fear of constitutional crisis and chaos,
Sood urged the Prime Minister to pave the way for consensus to
end the standoff in the country, the report said.

Observers believe the meeting is significant as it
comes against the backdrop of hectic parleys between the major
parties to extend the term of the House beyond May 28.

The Maoists, who have often accused India of
interfering in the internal affairs of the country by
supporting the Nepal-led government, have refused to cooperate
in extending the term of the Assembly till the Prime Minister
steps down.

Nepal`s ruling coalition last week introduced a bill
in the 601-Assembly to extend the term of the House for one
year so that it can finish the task of framing a new
constitution.

Leaders of the three major political parties -- the
main Opposition CPN-Maoist, the Nepali Congress and the prime
minister`s Communist Party of Nepal (United Marxist Leninist)
-- met today but failed to reach an agreement to end the
standoff.

Meanwhile, the meeting of the Assembly to vote on the
eighth constitution amendment bill to pave the way for
extension of the term of the House was put off till Friday.

CPN-Maoist party, with nearly 35 percent of the
parliamentary seats, have refused to cooperate in extending
the Assembly till Nepal quits.

Without the Maoists support, the ruling coalition
would be unable to garner the two-thirds parliamentary vote
required to get the proposal approved by the House.

The failure of the government and opposition leaders
to resolve disagreements could leave the country without a
functioning legislature by the weekend.

The expiry of the House will lead to the end of the
mandate of the interim constitution, creating a political
chaos and constitutional crisis, according to experts.

PTI



First Published: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 - 20:57

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