Kathmandu: Nepal is drifting towards a constitutional crisis, as the Maoists have refused to cooperate in extending the term of the Constituent Assembly till the Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal steps down.
Leaders of the three major political parties – the CPN-Maoist, the Nepali Congress and the prime minister`s Communist Party of Nepal (United Marxist Leninist) -- met each other but failed to reach an agreement to extended the term of the Constituent Assembly beyond May 28 amid its failure to promulgate a Constitution.
Top CPN-Maoist leaders, including party chief Prachanda, today held dialogue with Nepali Congress acting president Shushil Koirala, but failed to reach an agreement.
The Maoists demanded the resignation of the Prime Minister before extending the term of the Assembly, said Bimalendra Nidhi, Nepali Congress general secretary.
Nepal has refused to quit under pressure and asked the Maoists to implement past agreements to create an atmosphere of trust in the country.
The 22-party ruling coalition has 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.
CPN-Maoist party, with nearly 35 percent of the parliamentary seats, have refused to cooperate in extending the Assembly till the Prime Minister steps down.
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.
Faulting the Maoists for the deadlock, he said the extension of the Assembly`s term is in no way related to the Prime Minister`s resignation.
If the Maoists are honest in implementing the 2006 Comprehensive Peace Agreement, they should endorse the extension of the Assembly, he underlined.
We told the Maoists that we can discuss the issue of resignation of the Prime Minister and formation of national consensus government through a package deal, Nidhi said.
He said the former rebels should first agree on the number of combatants to be integrated and rehabilitated, return the seized property, dissolve their paramilitary organisation in the Young Communist League and express commitment to a democratic, federal republic Constitution before we may consider their demand.