Nepal PM concerned over political crisis, meets top leaders

Last Updated: Sunday, July 25, 2010 - 21:35

Kathmandu: Nepal`s caretaker Prime
Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal on Sunday expressed concern over the
constitutional crisis in the country as he met top political
leaders in a bid to end the standoff after a run-off poll for
a new premier ended in a deadlock on July 23.

Nepal met Nepali Congress leaders and former Prime Minister Surya Bahadur Thapa along with president of Rastriya
Prajatantra Party Pashupati Shumsher Thapa and expressed
concern that the political parties had failed to form a new
government even after he tendered his resignation.

Nepal held talks with Nepali Congress acting president
Shushil Koirala, Vice President and Prime Ministerial
candidate Ramchandra Poudyal and Sher Bahadur Deuba and asked
them to work to end the political deadlock.

He asked them not to lengthen the tenure of the
present caretaker government and to elect a new leader as soon
as possible to give him relief, according to the Prime
Minister`s office.

A run-off poll for the Prime Minister`s post ended in
a fiasco on July 23, with both Maoist supremo Prachanda and
his 65-year-old Nepali Congress rival Poudyal failing to get
majority support in the 601-memeber parliament.

Poudyal asked Nepal to bring his party CPN-UML to
support his candidature during next round of poll scheduled
for August 2.

The Prime Minister, however, was noncommittal, saying
his party has not yet decided to vote for any of the two
candidates.

No one has won the election as the UML, four Madhesi
parties and other fringe parties abstained from voting on July
23.

The Nepali Congress leader pointed out that unless the
Maoists dissolved their paramilitary organisation Young
Communist League and manage their combatants they could not
support a Maoist-led government.

58-year-old former premier Prachanda received 241
votes in favour and 113 against him. The lawmakers had
rejected him for the post in the July 21 election as well when
he had bagged 242 votes in favour and 114 against, failing to
touch the magic figure of 301.

Poudyal too crashed out of the race, receiving just
123 votes in favour and 243 against. In the earlier round on
Wednesday, he received only 124 votes.

CPN-Maoist is the single-largest party with 238 MPs,
while Nepali Congress and CPN-UML have 114 and 109 seats
respectively in the Constituent Assembly, whose two-year term
was extended by one year on May 28.

Nepal`s two largest parties, Nepali Congress and
UCPN-Maoist, today stepped-up efforts to woo the Terai-based
Madhesi parties, who have 84 seats in parliament.

The four parties -- Madhesi People`s Rights Forum (MPRF),
MPRF Democratic, Terai Madhes Democratic Party and Sadbhavana
Party -- with 84 seats, have maintained that they would
support the party that provides a clear roadmap to conclude
the peace process and addresses demands of the community from
the southern Terai region, including greater economic and
political rights for them.

Maoists, who joined mainstream politics in 2006 after
a decade-long insurgency, won the maximum seats in 2008
elections and briefly led the government before Prachanda`s
resignation following differences with President Ram Baran
Yadav over the reinstatement of then army chief Rukmangad
Katwal.

PTI



First Published: Sunday, July 25, 2010 - 21:35

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