Three months extension for Nepal Parliament

Averting a major constitutional crisis, Nepalese MPs approved the extension of the Parliament.

Kathmandu: Averting a major constitutional
crisis, Nepalese lawmakers on Monday approved the extension of the
term of the interim parliament by three months as the House is
yet to fulfill its original mandate to draft a new
constitution and conclude the landmark 2006 peace process.

Bijay Kumar Gachhadar, the new Deputy Prime Minister and
Home Minister, tabled the 10th Amendment Bill of Interim
Constitution, seeking a three-month extension of the
Constituent Assembly, which acts as the interim parliament.

The parliament, which was formed in 2008 after a popular
election, has failed to fulfill its main function to conclude
the peace process and draft a new constitution though its term
was extended twice, the latest on May 29 which is set expire
on August 31.

The previous CPN-UML-led coalition under Jhala Nath
Khanal had also decided on a three-month extension of the
Maoist ideologue Baburam Bhattarai, who was sworn in as
Nepal`s new Prime Minister today, faces the twin challenge of
integrating and rehabilitating over 19,000 former Maoist
guerrillas and preparing the first Constitution, two major
conditions of the peace deal which ended a decade-long civil
war that killed some 16,000 people.

The extension motion was endorsed by a majority vote in
the Parliament, according to Rajendra Mahato, president of
Terai-based Sadbhawana Party, a key ally of the Maoist-led

Except for the pro-monarchist Rastriya Prajatantra Party
(Nepal), which has four seats in the Parliament, all other
parties voted in favour of the extension.

Bhattarai, the 57-year-old Jawaharlal Nehru University
scholar has underlined his determination to work to complete
the fragile peace process within six months and form a
national unity government to bring political stability in the
nascent republic.