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Nepali Congress to stake claim to form new government

PTI | Last Updated: Monday, December 23, 2013 - 23:48

Kathmandu: Seeking to end the lingering political impasse, the Nepali Congress has decided to stake claim to lead the new government, more than a month after it emerged as the single largest party in Nepal`s assembly polls.
The NC, which won 196 seats in the 601-member Constituent Assembly but failed to secure an outright majority to form a government on its own, said it has the mandate to lead both the government and the constitution drafting process.

Party President Sushil Koirala said the Nepali Congress (NC) will try its best to bring all parties on board the government and the Constituent Assembly process.
Time has come for the NC to take a lead, party vice president Ram Chandra Poudel said at the end of a five-day Central Working Committee (CWC) meeting that ended here yesterday, media reports said.

"A strong and unified party can lead the government as well as the constitutional process. An undivided NC is the need of the hour so that we decided to give this responsibility to them," another senior party member said.

The NC also decided to go for a majority government if all efforts to form a consensual government fails. It called on other political parties to reach a consensus in forming the government under NC`s leadership.

Party leaders said they will start talks on power-sharing first with CPN-UML, which emerged as the second largest party with 175 seats in the November 19 Constituent Assembly polls.

Former Prime Minister and senior party leader Deuba said it would be an offence if the party fails to deliver the constitution within one year. "The NC needs to bring all on board the constitution drafting process."

Despite the claim over the leadership of the new government, the party has not been able to pick its candidate for the prime minister.

Sources said the top three leaders President Koirala, senior leader Sher Bahadur Deuba and Vice-president Poudel are willing to stake claims to the party`s prime ministerial candidate.

"The three leaders will sit together and will come up with a name," a CWC member was quoted as saying by ekantipur.

Nepal`s constitutional crisis deepened last year when the first Constituent Assembly was dissolved without promulgating the Constitution.

The November 19 polls to elect the Constituent Assembly were the second national elections since Nepal`s 10-year civil war ended in 2006.

First Published: Monday, December 23, 2013 - 23:48

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