UCPN-Maoist, Nepali Congress step up to form govt

The combined strength of Front, around 80 seats in the 601 member Constituent Assembly plays vital role in forming the government.

Last Updated: Aug 18, 2011, 19:10 PM IST

Kathmandu: The race among Maoists and Nepal`s main opposition party Nepali Congress headed towards a new national unity government intensified on Thursday in the midst of an August 21 deadline set by President Ram Baran Yadav.

Maoists` Prime Ministerial candidate Baburam Bhattarai today met leaders of CPN-UML, while Nepali Congress candidate Sher Bahadur Deuba held talks the leadership of Madhes-based political parties to seek their support.

Nepal`s two largest parties, UCPN-Maoist and Nepali Congress are currently holding talks with other parties to cobble together a coalition following the resignation of Prime Minister Jhala Nath Khanal last week, claiming the right to lead the unity government.

United Democratic Madhesi Front (UDMF), an alliance of five Madhes-based parties, decided to support national consensus government led by any major party.

The front, whose combined strength is around 80 seats in the 601 member Constituent Assembly, can play crucial role in forming the government.

"One, who can form a national consensus government will get our support," said Rajendra Mahato,President of Sadbhawana Party, a member of the alliance after the meeting.

"It is essential to form a national consensus government to complete the peace process and to draft the new constitution," he said, adding their party would help to form a national consensus government which is the need of the hour.

The deadline given by President Ram Baran Yadav to form a consensus government expires by August 21. The UCPN-Maoist, which has 238 seats in the Constituent Assembly, is largest party in the Assembly, which acts as the country`s interim Parliament.

The second largest Nepali Congress has 114 members in the House followed by CPN-UML, which has 108 members.