Nepal Prez extends deadline as consensus eludes parties

Last Updated: Wednesday, July 7, 2010 - 20:55

Kathmandu: With major political parties
unable to arrive at a consensus after week-long parleys, Nepal
President Ram Baran Yadav on Wednesday gave them additional time till
July 12 to forge a unity government.

The presidential office issued a notice asking
political parties to form a consensus government by July 12,
extending the deadline that expired today by five days,
Rajendra Dahal, press adviser to the president, said.
Earlier, the president had called the political
parties to suggest a consensus candidate for Prime Minister by
July 7, following the resignation of Madhav Kumar Nepal on
June 30 in the wake of persistent protests by the opposition
Maoists.

The political parties, including the UCPN-Maoists,
Nepali Congress, the CPN-UML and others have held parleys
since then to discuss government formation but consensus has
eluded them.

The fresh notice was issued today after a meeting of
representatives of two dozen political parties made a formal
request to the President`s office for extension of the
deadline.

However, a meeting of the three major parties held
today at Singhdurbar Secretariat building failed to reach any
agreement regarding formation of a consensus government.

The meeting was attended by Maoist chairman Prachanda,
Nepali Congress acting president Shushil Koirala and UML
president Jhala Nath Khanal.
Succumbing to intense pressure from the opposition
Maoists, Madhav Kumar Nepal quit the prime minister`s post on
June 30 after 13 months in power, to make way for a
"consensus" national government.

The Maoists had been demanding for months that he step
down to facilitate the formation of a new national government
led by them. They had announced their decision to block the
budget session of the Parliament scheduled to be held on July
5 if he did not quit.

The President accepted the resignation of Nepal and
asked him to continue as the caretaker Prime Minister until a
new government is formed.

The Nepali Congress and the CPN-UML have rejected the
prospect of formation of a Maoist-led government until the
former rebels agree to manage their combatants and dissolve
their notorious youth wing, the Young Communist League.

CPN-UML has projected the party`s president Jhalan
Nath Khanal as their prime ministerial candidate.

Nepali Congress is yet to decided its own prospective
candidate and has to choose between former Prime Minister Sher
Bahadur Deuba and Parliamentary Party leader Ramchandra
Poudyal as its candidate for the top post.

PTI



First Published: Wednesday, July 7, 2010 - 20:55

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