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NC, CPN-UML fail to end deadlock over power sharing

PTI | Last Updated: Wednesday, February 12, 2014 - 21:57

Kathmandu: The Nepali Congress on Wednesday failed to resolve differences with coalition partner CPN-UML over the allocation of the key portfolio of Home Ministry, raising doubts over the ability of the new government to end the prolonged political uncertainty in the country.

Emerging from the Parliament session, Prime Minister Sushil Koirala told reporters that no agreement was reached to allocate the Home Ministry to the CPN-UML.

He said discussions will be held and an understanding will be reached with the CPN-UML on the issue of sharing key cabinet portfolios.
The CPN-UML - the second largest party with 173 lawmakers in the 601-member Constituent Assembly - yesterday boycotted the oath-taking ceremony of Prime Minister Koirala and no legislator from the party was inducted in the cabinet.

The CPN-UML backed Koirala for the top post after the party reached a six-point deal with the Nepali Congress which has 194 lawmakers in the assembly elected last year.

Chairman of the CPN-UML Jhala Nath Khanal alleged that the Nepali Congress has backtracked from the agreement and threatened to stay away from the government, casting a shadow on the ability of the new administration to deliver a new constitution within a year.
Ramsharan Mahat, who was appointed as minister without portfolio by Koirala yesterday, said Nepali Congress has reservation over the allocation of the?Home Ministry?to his own party and that no agreements were made to allocate the portfolio to the CPN-UML.

"We have our own claim over the Home portfolio," he said.

After the CPN-UML was denied the portfolio, it did not provide its name list of members to be included in the new cabinet led by Koirala.

Former Prime Minister Khanal said the two parties have no alternatives to join hands for drafting constitution and asked the Nepali Congress to show respectable behavior to run the government.

Senior leader of CPN-UML and former Prime Minister?Madhav Kumar Nepal?said the party will not join the government without its respectable participation.

Talking to journalists he said, the Nepali Congress should abide by agreements and commitments.

Koirala, the president of Nepal`s biggest political party, was elected Prime Minister yesterday with 405 votes.

Since Nepal`s first post-insurgency elections in 2008, the country has had no leader for long periods, and the assembly has been perpetually deadlocked.

The first assembly, dominated by the one-time rebel Maoists, collapsed in May 2012 after failing to agree on a Constitution and complete the peace process. No party could secure a majority in last year`s Constituent Assembly polls.

First Published: Wednesday, February 12, 2014 - 21:57

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