Nepal Prez asks major parties to forge consensus

With just a day left for expiry of the Constituent Assembly`s term, Prez Ram Baran Yadav asks top parties to forge consensus on continuation of the House.

Kathmandu: With just a day left for expiry of
the Constituent Assembly`s term, President Ram Baran Yadav
today asked top parties to forge consensus on the continuation
of the House tasked with drafting a new Constitution, failing
which Nepal will plunge into a "bigger political crisis".

People had elected the Constituent Assembly to draft a new
Constitution, a task which has remained incomplete, Yadav was
quoted as saying by his press adviser Rajendra Dahal.

"If the Constituent Assembly is dissolved, the country
will plunge into a bigger political crisis," he said.

As there is no other way to write the Constitution, the
Constituent Assembly must be saved, said the President, who
met Maoist chief Prachanda, Nepali Congress acting President
Shushil Koirala ad CPN-UML president Jhala Nath Khanal this

Earlier, the talks held between the opposition Maoists
and the ruling alliance including Nepali Congress and CPN-UML
to strike a deal did not make much progress last night.

CPN-Maoist party, with 229 parliamentary seats, has
refused to cooperate on extending the Constituent Assembly
till Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal, who heads a 22-party
coalition, steps down.

However, the political parties are still trying to hammer
out a solution.

The Presidential rule or declaration of emergency would
probably be the only available option, if major parties fail
to reach a consensus on extending the Constituent Assembly`s

It is up to the Maoists, the single largest party,
whether to give life to the Constitution Assembly or not,
Nepali Congress General Secretary Bimalendra Nidhi said.

The Constituent Assembly was the Maoists` agenda and
now everything depends on the former rebels, who command one-
third seats in the 601-member Constituent Assembly.

Meanwhile, preparations are underway to mark the republic
day of the country on May 29, a day after the Constituent
Assembly`s tenure ends.


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