Nepalese leaders inch closer to `consensus` to end pol crisis

Nepalese political parties today inched closer to a consensus on divisive issues that has prolonged the government formation, including drafting of a new constitution and integration of the former Maoist rebels.

Last Updated: Nov 06, 2010, 20:48 PM IST

Kathmandu: Nepalese political parties
today inched closer to a consensus on divisive issues that has
prolonged the government formation, including drafting of a
new constitution and integration of the former Maoist rebels.

A two-day meeting of the top leaders of three major
political parties, including Prime Minister Madhav Kumar
Nepal, UCPN-Maoist chairman Prachanda, Nepali Congress
president Sushil Koirala and CPN-UML president Jhala Nath
Khanal, have moved "close to consensus" that has sparked a
constitutional crisis in the country.

Though the "secret" meeting failed to produce any
instant solution on the contentious issues, including
government formation, constitution making and managing the
Maoist combatants, it "reached close to a consensus in most of
the issues".

"We have discussed many important issues such as the
on going peace process, constitution drafting, budget
formulation, government formation and army integration (of the
former Maoists guerrilla army PLA), and we reached close to
consensus in most of the issues," said Khanal.

"Our understanding has deepend and gaps have been
reduced after the meeting," he told PTI at the end of the
meeting in Dakshinkali, some 18-km south of the capital.

"We have decided to hold next round of meeting on
Wednesday, he said.

The CPN-UML president also hinted that some sort of
understanding will be reached regarding the leadership and
modality of the new government formation before the next round
of election for Prime Minister slated to take place on
November 15.

A four-point statement was issued after the meeting
highlighting the need to build consensus to end the current
political deadlock for peace, democracy, constitution writing
and protection of national interest.

The meeting also attended by former Prime Minister
Sher Bahadur Deuba and Nepali Congress leader Ramchandra
Poudyal, who has refused to quit the race for the post of the
prime minister despite failing in 16 rounds of run-off polls,
was kept "secret" from mediapersons.

65-year-old Poudyal, who is adamant over not quitting
the prime ministerial race, could muster only 82 votes in his
favour in the 601-member Constituent Assembly that functions
as the country`s interim parliament.

As per Nepal`s interim constitution, the election
process should continue till a new leader is elected in the
parliament through a simple majority of 301 vote.

The country has been in political limbo since the June
30 resignation of Prime Minister Nepal under intense pressure
from the Maoists.

The standoff has stalled the country`s peace process
and delayed the annual budget, bringing the nation on the
brink of a financial crisis.

PTI