Maoists` move to restrict political parties in Nepal fail

Nepal`s mainstream parties Sunday won a key victory over the main Opposition Maoist when they successfully resisted their move to restrict the formation of new political groups in the country.

Kathmandu: Nepal`s mainstream parties Sunday won a key victory over the main Opposition Maoist when they successfully resisted their move to restrict the formation of new political groups in the country, amid the constitutional crisis in the country.

A High-level taskforce headed by Maoists supreme Prachanda, agreed to allow the formation of a new party irrespective of the political ideology followed by it.

The taskforce, which is mandated to bring about consensus on key disputes between the political parties on the framing of a new constitution, was struggling for a consensus, amid a controversial Maoists proposal to restrict the formation of parties that supports "feudalism and expansionism".

The top panel that also includes CPN-UML Chairman Jhala Nath Khanal and Nepali Congress Vice-Chairman Ram Chandra Poudel agreed to preserve the liberty to form a political party irrespective of the ideology.

Bharat Mohan Adhikari, a CPN-UML leader and member of a sub-committee of the taskforce, said the parties agreed not to deprive the right to form a party due to ideological differences. This was one of the key issues of difference between the Maoists and other mainstream political parties.

Adhikari said there was also discussion on other issues, including on the fundamental rights to be incorporated in the new constitution.

Disagreements also persist on such fundamental issues as the structure of the national government and the creation of federal states.

Nepal`s parties are also deadlocked over the future of the U.N-verified 19,000 Maoist combatants, who have to be rehabilitated and integrated with the security forces.

The meeting of the taskforce discussed other issues of disputes that has delayed the drafting of a new constitution after the abolition of the monarchy and declaring the country a republic in 2008.

The political leaders are struggling to form a fresh government amid a standoff over the election of a new prime minister. It has delayed the framing of the constitution and threatens to derail the 2006 peace process itself.

Political tensions have been high in Nepal since a government led by the Maoists resigned in May 2009 following a dispute with President Ram Baran Yadav over the reinstatement of former army chief Rukmangad Katawal, who was dismissed by the Prachanda-led government.

The country has been in political limbo since the June 30 resignation of Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal. It has stalled the country`s peace process and delayed the annual budget, bringing the nation on the brink of financial crisis.

The standoff has put new stresses on the country`s reconciliation efforts amid fears that the stalled peace process may be derailed if a new government is not put in place soon.

PTI

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