US concerned over deepening constitutional crisis in Nepal

The US on Tuesday expressed concern over the deepening constitutional crisis in Nepal.

Last Updated: Jul 27, 2010, 21:27 PM IST

Kathmandu: The US on Tuesday expressed
concern over the deepening constitutional crisis in Nepal
following the failure of the political parties to elect a new
prime minister, saying it could put the 2006 landmark peace
process at risk.

Scott DeLisi, the US Ambassador to Nepal, met CPN-UML
chairman Jhala Nath Khanal on Tuesday and expressed concern over
the delay in the formation of a new government.

He said the CPN-UML`s decision to remain neutral
during the prime ministerial election will only further delay
the government formation and eventually put the peace and
constitution drafting process at risk, the nepalnews online
reported.

He wanted the CPN-UML chairman to expedite the process
of forming a government so that a way out of the
constitutional crisis is found.

Khanal assured the envoy that the political parties
were trying to forge an understanding over the election of a
new prime minister during the next round of voting on August
2.

A run-off poll for the Prime Minister`s post ended in
a fiasco on July 23, with both Maoist supremo Prachanda and
his 65-year-old Nepali Congress rival R C Poudyal failing to
get majority support in the 601-memeber parliament.

58-year-old former premier Prachanda received 241
votes in favour and 113 against him. The lawmakers had
rejected him for the post in the July 21 election as well when
he had bagged 242 votes in favour and 114 against, failing to
touch the magic figure of 301.

Poudyal too crashed out of the race, receiving just
123 votes in favour and 243 against. In the earlier round on
July 21, he received only 124 votes.

CPN-Maoist is the single-largest party with 238 MPs,
while Nepali Congress and CPN-UML have 114 and 109 seats
respectively in the Constituent Assembly, whose two-year term
was extended by one year on May 28.

The Maoists led by Prachanda formed a government in
2008, but it later collapsed after a dispute with President
Ram Baran Yadav over their attempt to replace the army chief.

PTI