PM warns of `serious crisis` in Nepal

Last Updated: Friday, May 21, 2010 - 19:42

Kathmandu: Nepal`s Prime Minister on Friday warned of a serious crisis in the country if the term of the Constituent Assembly is not extended beyond May 28 amid its failure to promulgate a constitution.

A serious crisis will emerge if the term of the
Constituent Assembly is not extended as the constitution will
not be promulgated within the May 28 deadline, Madhav Kumar
Nepal said.

Nepal, who is under pressure from the Maoists to step
down, asked the Maoists to implement past agreements to create
an atmosphere of trust in the country.

The standoff with the Maoists can be ended if they
cooperate in the integration and rehabilitation of their
former PLA combatants, the CPN-UML leader said.

There is dispute between the government and the
Maoists over the fate of the 19,000 former guerrillas who have
been housed for three years in camps monitored by the United

The Maoists want their en masse integration into the
army while the ruling coalition dispute the actual number of
the former guerrillas, saying it is much less than that shown
by the former rebels. The non-Maoists party are against the en
masse integration of the PLA combatants as it could politicise
the neutral Army.

The political parties are struggling to find a
consensus to extend the term of the 601-member Assembly that
is set to expire on May 28 without fulfilling its key task of
framing a constitution.

Chairman of the Constituent Assembly Subhash Nemwang
also warned that the country will plunge into a political and
constitutional crisis if the term of the Assembly is not

He said there is the danger of an authoritarian regime
emerging in the absence of the popularly elected
representative body.

CPN-UML president Jhalanath Khanal has also underlined
the importance of extending the term of the Assembly.

The 22-party ruling coalition has introduced a bill in
the 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.


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First Published: Friday, May 21, 2010 - 19:42

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