Nepali Congress steps up effort to form govt amid pol deadlock

Last Updated: Thursday, July 15, 2010 - 21:18

Kathmandu: Nepal`s second largest party,
Nepali Congress, on Thursday stepped up efforts to head a coalition
government after the key decision was formally approved by the
party leadership, though it failed to agree on a prime
ministerial candidate.

Central Working Committee of the Nepali Congress in
principle decided to form a government under the party`s
leadership, Bimalendra Nidhi, the party`s general secretary
said here today.
He, however, said that it is yet to decide as to who
will lead the government.

The Nepali Congress has argued that it is now their
turn to lead a government after the Maoists and the CPN-UML
failed to conclude the peace process and frame a new
constitution by the stipulated deadline of May 28.

The party decided to initiate dialogue with other
political parties in order to garner their support for setting
up a new government.

As the largest party UCPN-Maoist and third largest
CPN-UML have already formed governments one after another over
the last two years, Nepali Congress should get the leadership
of the next government, the senior leader said.

Nepalese lawmakers will elect a new Prime Minister on
July 21 following a direction by President Ram Baran Yadav to
form a majority government after they failed to reach a
consensus on a leader.
The Nepal Maoists, who ended their decade-long civil
war in 2006, have claimed the leadership of new government as
it is largest party in parliament with nearly 40 percent of
the seats.

The party`s Prime Ministerial hopeful Jhal Nath Khanal
today held talk with Nepali Congress Parliamentary Party
leader, Ramchandra Poudyal, to discuss issues relating to
formation of a government and peace process, CPN-UML sources
said.

After the end the second deadline set by the president
to form a consensus government by July 12, political parties
are now engaged in hectic consultations to form a majority
government.

However, a national government is still possible if
the key political players, including the Maoists, can be
accommodated in the new ministry, according to analysts.

The key alliance partners in the caretaker government,
Nepali Congress and CPN-UML, have ruled out the possibility of
forming the next government under the Maoists` leadership as
the former rebels have not yet laid down arms, managed their
combatants and dissolved their paramilitary organization the
Young Communist League.

The three major parties -- main Opposition
UCPN-Maoist, the Nepali Congress and the Communist Party of
Nepal (United Marxist Leninist), the two partners in the
ruling alliance, have failed to find a common ground to set up
a coalition.

Meanwhile, Home Minister Bhim Rawal today met Maoist
chief Prachand and discussed ways to improve the worsening
security situation in the country, sources said.

The Maoists, who waged a decade-long insurgency,
joined mainstream politics after the 2006 peace deal with the
interim government led by G. P. Koirala. Led by its superemo
Prachanda, the Maoists formed a government in 2008, but it
collapsed in May last year after a dispute with the President
over their attempt to fire the army chief.

PTI



First Published: Thursday, July 15, 2010 - 21:18

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