Nepalese parties struggling to avert constitutional crisis
Last Updated: Tuesday, May 25, 2010, 23:11
Kathmandu: With just three days remaining for the expiry of the term of the Constituent Assembly, Nepal's major political parties are struggling to avert a political crisis, with the former rebels threatening to block an extension of the parliament.

Nepal's major political parties, Nepali Congress, CPN-UML and the Maoists have agreed to continue their dialogue to sort out differences, though their meeting ended inconclusively without reaching a consensus on extension of the term of the CA which may lead to a constitutional crisis.

The former rebels threatened to block an extension of the Nepalese parliament over the issue of resignation of the Prime Minister, a move that could plunge the country into a leadership vacuum.

The Maoists have reiterated their demand for the Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal's resignation before extending the term of the CA, where the ruling parties NC and CPN-UML have asked the Maoists to first determine the number of combatants to be integrated and work out modalities for army integration, according to Nepali Congress general secretary Bimalendra Nidhi.

The Maoists should not link the extension of the CA terms to the Prime Minister's resignation, he said.

The resignation of the Prime Minister should rather be linked to the formation of a consensus government, he said. Maoist spokesman Dinanath Sharma said that they are in favour of extension of the CA term but before that a consensus should be reached among the political parties.

He said the Prime Minister should first resign and the issue of who should lead the government can be negotiated later on. Earlier, the Maoists have been pressurising the ruling parties to form a new government under the leadership of party chief Prachanda.

Now, they are leaving the matter as to who should lead the new government to negotiations. Now the Maoists seem to be ready even to consider soft-liner Vice-president Baburam Bhattarai, to lead the new government, sources close to the Maoists said.

Our preference is to form a national consensus government under the Maoists' leadership but we are ready for negotiation regarding the matter of leadership, Sharma said.

The ruling alliance and the Maoists have agreed to meet again tomorrow to forge a consensus to resolve the current crisis and to extend the term of the Constituent Assembly.

Observers point out that the Maoists being the largest party with their command over one third seats in the CA will be at disadvantage in case the CA term is not extended.


First Published: Tuesday, May 25, 2010, 23:11

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