Nepal`s fringe parties seal poll deal
Kathmandu: Nepal`s four major political forces have struck a deal with an alliance of fringe parties seeking their participation in the forthcoming Constituent Assembly elections on November 19.
The High-Level Political Committee representing the four major parties - Unified CPN-Maoist, Nepali Congress, CPN-UML and the United Democratic Madhesi Front (UDMF) - inked a six-point deal with the Federal Democratic Front (FDF), an eight-party grouping led by Upendra Yadav of the Madhesi Peoples Rights Forum - Nepal, Thursday night.
The deal paves the way for the agitating fringe parties to take part in the Constituent Assembly (CA) elections.
As per the agreement, the number of seats in the CA would be 585 with 240 seats under the first-past-the-post system while 335 seats under the proportional one and 10 to be nominated at the recommendation of the Council of Ministers, according to Nepali Congress sources.
For the implementation of the agreement, the political parties will request the President and the government for necessary constitutional and legal arrangements.
Earlier, the four major parties had fixed the number of CA seats at 491. During the last Constituent Assembly, the total number of seats was 601.
The Election Commission will be requested to grant two more weeks for updating voter registration.
The FDF will join the HLPC and efforts will be made to include other important parties in it to make the CA elections successful.
However, the parties have agreed to keep intact the previous 240 constituencies and their delimitation.
UCPN-Maoist leader Narayan Kaji Shrestha signed the deal on behalf of HLPC while Parshuram Tamang signed for FDF.
The six-point agreement, the leaders said, would be a milestone for the success of the CA elections.
However, the major parties are yet to hold final round of talks with the other alliance of 32 disgruntled fringe parties led by CPN-Maoist, the breakaway faction of the UCPN-Maoist, for securing their participation in the elections.
The 32-party alliance is likely to hold crucial talks with the High Level Political Committee today in an effort to ensure their participation.
Claiming that the upcoming elections will not solve Nepal`s problems, the dissenting parties have said that it would rather invite a bigger national crisis as the polls were announced by "an unconstitutional government" without ensuring consensus among all political parties.
They have been demanding that the current Khil Raj Regmi-led interim dispensation be replaced with a political party-led government and the election scheduled for November 19 be deferred.
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