Nepal`s deadlocked parties unlikely to meet July 7 deadline

Last Updated: Sunday, July 4, 2010 - 20:41

Kathmandu: Nepal`s deadlocked political
parties are unlikely to agree on a consensus candidate to lead
a national government ahead of the July 7 deadline amid deep
differences on how to end the constitutional crisis in the
country.

The formation of a new government is likely to be
delayed as the major political parties -- the main Opposition
UCPN-Maoist, the Nepali Congress and the Communist Party of
Nepal (United Marxist Leninist), the key ruling alliance
partners -- are no where near agreeing on a consensus
candidate for the post of the prime minister, sources said.

The main parties have been unable to convene a joint
meeting to discuss the issue relating to formation of a
national government.

Nepali Congress and CPN-UML on Sunday discussed the
formation of a new government.

It asked the Maoists to complete the peace process and
agree on a time frame to draft the constitution and manage
their combatants as per the agreement earlier this month,
according to CPN-UML President Jhalanath Khanal.

No decision was reached during the meeting as to who
will head the government, he told PTI.

However, he said a meeting between the Maoists, Nepali
Congress and CPN-UML will be held soon to discuss the matter.

The meeting was attended by Nepali Congress acting
president Sushil Koirala, Vice president Ramchandra Poudyal,
CPN-UML president Khanal and general secretary Ishwor
Pokharel.

The Maoists, who ended their decade-long civil war in
2006, are under pressure from Nepali Congress and CPN-UML to
dissolve the paramilitary organisation of its youth wing, the
Young Communist League, return seized property and to finalise
the numbers and the timeframe for the integration of its
former combatants with the security forces.

Political parties have been given a July 7 deadline by
the President to recommend the name of a new Prime Minister
following the resignation of Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal
on June 30.

Nepal tendered his resignation after 13 months of
intense pressure from the Maoists to step down. It had
announced its decision to block the budget session of the
Parliament scheduled to be held on July 5 if he did not quit.

Party sources said there was little chance of parties
agreeing on a common candidate for the top post of Prime
Minister.

It is unlikely that the parties would suggest a
consensus candidate for the post of Prime Minister to meet the
deadline, sources here said.

If the Nepalese political parties fail to reach a
consensus on the formation of the government, the president
would then direct them to form a government on the basis of
majority support as per the provision of the interim
constitution.

Sujata Koirala, the Deputy Prime Minister in the
caretaker government and Nepali Congress top leader, has
underlined the need to complete the peace process.

She said that it is not important who will become the
Prime Minister at the moment. Completing the peace process is
more important than the post of the Prime Minister, she told
journalists in the capital on Sunday.

Her remarks comes amid reports that some of the top
leaders of the Nepali Congress, including former Prime
Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba and Vice president Nepali Congress
Ramchandra Poudyal are seeking to head the new government led
by the party.

Koirala asked the Maoists to integrate and
rehabilitate their combatants and to dissolve their militant
Young Communist League.

Unified CPN-Maoist, with nearly 40 percent seats in
the 601-member Constituent Assembly, has claimed the right to
lead a new coalition and rescue the peace process as it is the
single largest party.

According to Maoist spokesman Dinanath Sharma, a
government without the Maoists will not be able to settle the
key issues, including completing the peace process and
drafting the new constitution.

Efforts are being made to isolate the Maoists, he
alleged, and claimed that only Maoist led government would be
able to resolve the current political stalemate.

He said the issues relating to management of the
Maoist combatants, dissolution of the Young Communist League
and return of the seized property can be settled through
mutual understanding and dialogue.

The Maoist party has set up a three-member committee
led by party supremo Prachanda to form a national consensus
government under its leadership.

PTI



First Published: Sunday, July 4, 2010 - 20:41

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