Nepal`s deadlocked parties unlikely to meet July 7 deadline
Last Updated: Sunday, July 04, 2010, 20:41
Kathmandu: Nepal's deadlocked political parties are unlikely to agree on a consensus candidate to lead a national government ahead of the July 7 deadline amid deep differences on how to end the constitutional crisis in the country.

The formation of a new government is likely to be delayed as the major political parties -- the main Opposition UCPN-Maoist, the Nepali Congress and the Communist Party of Nepal (United Marxist Leninist), the key ruling alliance partners -- are no where near agreeing on a consensus candidate for the post of the prime minister, sources said.

The main parties have been unable to convene a joint meeting to discuss the issue relating to formation of a national government.

Nepali Congress and CPN-UML on Sunday discussed the formation of a new government.

It asked the Maoists to complete the peace process and agree on a time frame to draft the constitution and manage their combatants as per the agreement earlier this month, according to CPN-UML President Jhalanath Khanal.

No decision was reached during the meeting as to who will head the government, he told PTI.

However, he said a meeting between the Maoists, Nepali Congress and CPN-UML will be held soon to discuss the matter.

The meeting was attended by Nepali Congress acting president Sushil Koirala, Vice president Ramchandra Poudyal, CPN-UML president Khanal and general secretary Ishwor Pokharel.

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.

Political parties have been given a July 7 deadline by the President to recommend the name of a new Prime Minister following the resignation of Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal on June 30.

Nepal tendered his resignation after 13 months of intense pressure from the Maoists to step down. It had announced its decision to block the budget session of the Parliament scheduled to be held on July 5 if he did not quit.

Party sources said there was little chance of parties agreeing on a common candidate for the top post of Prime Minister.

It is unlikely that the parties would suggest a consensus candidate for the post of Prime Minister to meet the deadline, sources here said.

If the Nepalese political parties fail to reach a consensus on the formation of the government, the president would then direct them to form a government on the basis of majority support as per the provision of the interim constitution.

Sujata Koirala, the Deputy Prime Minister in the caretaker government and Nepali Congress top leader, has underlined the need to complete the peace process.

She said that it is not important who will become the Prime Minister at the moment. Completing the peace process is more important than the post of the Prime Minister, she told journalists in the capital on Sunday.

Her remarks comes amid reports that some of the top leaders of the Nepali Congress, including former Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba and Vice president Nepali Congress Ramchandra Poudyal are seeking to head the new government led by the party.

Koirala asked the Maoists to integrate and rehabilitate their combatants and to dissolve their militant Young Communist League.

Unified CPN-Maoist, with nearly 40 percent seats in the 601-member Constituent Assembly, has claimed the right to lead a new coalition and rescue the peace process as it is the single largest party.

According to Maoist spokesman Dinanath Sharma, a government without the Maoists will not be able to settle the key issues, including completing the peace process and drafting the new constitution.

Efforts are being made to isolate the Maoists, he alleged, and claimed that only Maoist led government would be able to resolve the current political stalemate.

He said the issues relating to management of the Maoist combatants, dissolution of the Young Communist League and return of the seized property can be settled through mutual understanding and dialogue.

The Maoist party has set up a three-member committee led by party supremo Prachanda to form a national consensus government under its leadership.


First Published: Sunday, July 04, 2010, 20:41

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