‘Nepal peace process to be concluded on time’
Last Updated: Friday, February 10, 2012, 23:22
Kathmandu: A top Maoist leader on Friday said the government will finish the key task of concluding the peace process and framing a new constitution, amid a deadlock between the political parties over form of governance and federal structure to be adopted in the country.

"The peace process and the constitution drafting will be completed within the stipulated time frame of May 27," Education Minister and senior Maoist party leader Dinanath Sharma said on the sideline of the inaugural function of the UK Education Fair in the capital.

The landmark peace process has been stalled amid the failure of the political parties to agree on the form of governance and federal structure.

Sharma said he was "confident that the atmosphere of trust and consensus is being formed among the political parties."

He said the process for the voluntary retirement of the former Maoist combatants has already begun and remaining tasks of peace process will also be completed on time.

Replying to a question on the settlement of contentious issues, Sharma said "these issues need to be settled through political consensus among the political parties and efforts are being made towards that end."

The extended tenure of the Constituent Assembly, which functions as the country's interim parliament, is set to expire on May 27.

Bowing to mounting pressure from the opposition parties, Nepal Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai yesterday announced scrapping of a controversial Cabinet decision to legalise the war-time transactions of property and land deals, a move that ended a deadlock that had stalled Parliament over the last few weeks.

On the issue of the formation of the national consensus government Sharma said a national government cannot be formed only by dissolving the present government "as consensus is required for that."

"The issues of forming the government, concluding the peace process and drafting of the constitution are interrelated matters," he said.

Underlining the need to spread educational opportunities in Nepal, he pushed for promoting educational exchanges between UK and Nepal.

He said the Maoist-led government favours an open educational policy in which students aiming to pursue higher educational abroad are not discouraged.


First Published: Friday, February 10, 2012, 23:22

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