Nepalese parties in last minute negotiations to avert criss

Last Updated: Saturday, May 28, 2011 - 21:30

Kathmandu: The Communist-led coalition in
Nepal Saturday was locked in a last minute negotiations with the
opposition parties to hammer out a deal to avert a
constitutional crisis, hours before the term of the interim
parliament expires Saturday.

Leaders of CPN UML and UCPN-Maoist, the two largest
party in the ruling coalition are also holding discussions
within their parties to firm up their policies amid the
deadlock with the Nepali Congress, the main opposition in the
House.

Unified CPN (Maoist), the largest party in the
601-member Constituent Assembly, is holding a meeting of its
powerful Standing Committee while the CPN-UML of Prime
Minister Jhala Nath Khanal is set for a key consultation.

The Nepali Congress, the second largest party, is also
discussing its strategy with members of the parliamentary
panel.

The Nepalese parties failed to end the deadlock over
the extension of the term of the House despite several round
of talks yesterday.

Prime Minister Khanal, Maoist chairman Prachanda and
Nepali Congress President Sushil Koirala held talks to end the
standoff amid growing concern over the uncertainty in Nepal`s
peace process and failure of the parties to agree on a
consensus to promulgate a new constitution.

"The Maoists did not agree to prepare an action plan
to hand over arms" and to decide on the modality for the
integration of their former combatants with the security
forces, said a leader who attended the tripartite talks
yesterday.

The Maoists do not seem ready to move forward the
peace process and the constitution drafting process, he
underlined. The opposition parties have asked the Maoists to
handover to the government the containers with the Maoist
weapons, regrouping of the former guerrillas for the purpose
of integration and rehabilitation, formation of a national
government and return of the property seized during the
decade-long insurgency which ended in 2006.

They have also asked the Maoists to dismantle their
paramilitary youth wing, Young Communist League.

The ruling coalition, which does not have the needed
two-third majority, has registered a constitution amendment
bill in parliament proposing a one-year extension for the
Assembly, but the opposition parties have refused to provide
the support without the Maoists first accepting their demands.

The Supreme Court has ruled that the Assembly could be
extended only for six months, as against the government`s
decision for a one-year extension.

A concerned President Ram Baran Yadav, who held
consultations with top leaders, including the Prime Minister,
Prachanda and Koirala, asked them to reach a consensus and
push forward the stalled peace process.

Nepal Maoists ended its decade-long civil war in 2006
and emerged as the single largest party in the 2008 election.

The Assembly, which was formed after the election, was
originally elected with a two-year mandate -- to end on May
28, 2010 with the promulgation of the constitution.

However, the interim parliament failed to draft a
constitution last year and its term was extended for one year
in a last minute deal among the political parties.

Amid the uncertainty over Nepal`s peace process,
security has been stepped-up in the capital, particularly
around the parliament, where all rallies have been banned.

Riot police was deployed in sensitive areas in the
capital where number of protest demonstrations and rallies
have been held over the last few days.

Thousands of people have stepped up pressure on
Nepalese lawmakers to end the deadlock. Ethnic and fringe
groups have held demonstration for greater rights and
representation for their communities.

Normal life was disrupted in the capital and major
cities across the country yesterday due to a general strike
called by various groups frustrated by the failure of the
lawmakers to promulgate a new constitution for the young
republic.

PTI



First Published: Saturday, May 28, 2011 - 21:30

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