Kathmandu: Nepal`s smaller parties,
including 10 members of the ruling coalition, today stepped up
pressure on the government and the main Opposition Maoists to
end the standoff over extending the term of the Constituent
Assembly which expires this week.
Ten political parties of the ruling 22-party coalition
asked the major parties -- -- the CPN-Maoist, the Nepali
Congress and the prime minister`s Communist Party of Nepal
(United Marxist Leninist) -- to endorse the House bill to
extend the term of the Assembly so as to draft a new
constitution and facilitate the logical conclusion of the
stalled peace process.
The country is drifting towards a constitutional
crisis as the Maoists have refused to cooperate in extending
the term of the Assembly till Prime Minister Madhav Kumar
Nepal steps down.
There is no other option than extending the term of
the Constituent Assembly as the constitution could not be
drafted within the stipulated time and the peace process could
not be concluded, said a resolution adopted by the ten ruling
They also asked the Maoists and other parties to
resolve all issues through national consensus and to help in
drafting the new constitution to institutionalise the federal
Meanwhile, 15 fringe parties disrupted the proceedings
of the Parliament today to exert pressure on the three major
parties to extend the term of the Assembly which expires on
They also shouted slogans in favour of the extension
of the term of the House.
The 15 parties also handed over a memorandum to the
three major parties seeking an extension of the Assembly.
The memorandum was signed by CPN-ML, Rashtriya
Prajantra Party, Rashtriya Janashakti Party, CPN-United, Nepal
Sadhbhawana Party-Anandidevi, Dalit Janajati Party, Nepal
Pariwar Dal, Samajwadi Janatantrik Party and Chure Bhawar
Rashtriya Ekata Samaj.
Second largest party Nepali Congress, the CPN (UML)
and the main Opposition Maoists have held separate meetings
with each other but were unable to reach an agreement to
extended the term of the Assembly amid its failure to
promulgate a constitution.
Maoist supremo Prachanda yesterday held dialogue with
Nepali Congress acting president Shushil Koirala but there was
no breakthrough to end the standoff.
Nepal`s ruling coalition has introduced a bill in the
601-Assembly to extend the term of the House for one year
so that it can finish the task of framing a new constitution.
CPN-Maoist party, with nearly 35 percent of the
parliamentary seats, have refused to cooperate in extending
the Assembly till the Prime Minister steps down.
Without the Maoists support, the ruling coalition
would be unable to garner the two-thirds parliamentary vote
required to get the proposal approved by the House.
Nepali Congress is against linking the extension of
the Assembly`s term to the Prime Minister’s resignation.
Instead they want the former rebels to first agree to
implement past agreements, including an understanding on the
number of combatants to be integrated and rehabilitated,
return seized property, dissolve their paramilitary
organisation in the Young Communist League and express
commitment to a democratic, federal republic constitution.
The standoff has put new stresses on Nepal`s
reconciliation efforts amid fears that the stalled peace
process may be derailed if the Maoists refuse to cooperate in
extending the term of the Assembly, which is set to expire
Political tensions have been high in Nepal since a
government led by the Maoists resigned last year amid a
dispute with President Ram Baran Yadav over the reinstatement
of former army chief Rukmangad Katawal, who was dismissed by
the Prachanda-led government in May 2009.