Nepal parties fail to make progress on govt formation

Nepal`s political parties failed to make any progress in setting up a national government as a key meeting of the three main parties did not take place on Saturday amid deepening differences between them.

Kathmandu: Nepal`s political parties
failed to make any progress in setting up a national
government as a key meeting of the three main parties did not
take place on Saturday amid deepening differences between them.

A crucial meeting of the three major parties -- main
Opposition UCPN-Maoist, the Nepali Congress and the Communist
Party of Nepal (United Marxist Leninist), the key alliance
partners in the caretaker government-- to discuss the
formation of a consensus government was postponed after
CPN-UML president Jhalanah Khanal expressed his inability to
attend the meeting.

The deadlocked parties are struggling to meet an
extended July 12 deadline set by President Ram Baran Yadav to
suggest a name for the post of the Prime Minister based on

Nepalese parties failed to meet an earlier July 7
deadline after prime minister Madhav Kumar Nepal quit on June
30 following months of protests by the former rebels.

Instead of attending the three party meeting, Khanal
went to a gathering to mourn the death of a local party
leader, who was allegedly killed by the Maoists on Thursday.

Chhabi Lal Karki, a district-level leader of the
CPN-UML, was allegedly killed during a Maoist attack in
Okhaldhunga district in eastern Nepal.

The CPN-UML has decided to organise a nationwide
protest to expose the brutal activities of the Maoists, who
have been accused by the other parties of indulging in violent
activities and intimidation.

The police have arrested three suspects in
connection with the murder of Karki.

The Maoists have denied any link to the killing of the
UML leader.

The Maoists, who ended their decade-long civil war in
2006, are under pressure from Nepali Congress and CPN-UML to
dissolve the paramilitary organisation of its youth wing, the
Young Communist League, return seized property and to finalise
the numbers and the timeframe for the integration of its
former combatants with the security forces.

The Maoists and the CPN-UML are deadlocked over the
issue of leadership of a new coalition. The former have
claimed the right to head a new government as it is largest
party in parliament with nearly 40 percent of the seats.

However, senior leaders in the Nepali Congress, the
second largest party in the House, have also staked its claim
to lead a new government, leading to a political deadlock in
the country.

The United CPN-Maoist party today announced a
three-month time schedule to manage and integrate their former
combatants and to dissolve the paramilitary structure of the
Young Communist League, the youth wing of the party.

Maoist Vice chairman Narayankaji Shrestha unveiled the
time bound integration and rehabilitation of the combatants in
the capital on Sunday.

He said all 19,000 combatants confined in various
cantonments under the supervision of the United Nations will
be brought under the Army Integration Special Committee within
two months.

Then they will be placed in two separate camps after
seeking their views whether they wanted to join security
forces or to return to normal life through the rehabilitation

Those interested to join the army will be integrated
in the national army within a month.

The Maoists have also agreed to dissolve their
paramilitary organisation of the YCL and return the land and
property they seized during decade-long insurgency to their
rightful owners as per the demand of the major ruling parties.

However, the alliance partners in the caretaker
government has said they cannot accept the Maoists` leadership
at present even after they agreed to integrate and
rehabilitate their former combatants.

We cannot accept a government headed by the Maoists
at the moment, said Ramchandra Poudyal, the Nepali Congress
vice-president and hopeful for the post of the prime minister.

As the Maoists agreed to manage their combatants and
dissolve their paramilitary organisation, they can join the
government headed by other parties, he pointed out.

They will qualify to head the government only after
their party is converted into a civilian one by actually
implementing all the past agreements related to the peace
process, including returning seized property and dissolving
their paramilitary organisation, he said.

Political analysts here see no possibility of the
formation of a consensus government as the time for setting up
of such a coalition was running out.


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