Nepalese parties deadlocked over govt formation



Kathmandu: Nepal's major parties on Saturday stepped up consultations in a bid to form a national government, but failed to find a consensus to meet a July 7 presidential deadline so as end the constitutional crisis created by the resignation of the Prime Minister.

Main opposition Unified CPN-Maoist, the largest party in the 601-member Constituent Assembly with nearly 40 percent seats, today held talks with the Nepali Congress party over the leadership of a national government.

Senior leaders in the Nepali Congress, the second largest party in the House, have staked its claim to lead a new government.

Ram Chandra Poudel, the Nepali Congress vice president expressed the hope that they would make headway by July 7, the deadlined set by President Ram Baran Yadav for the political parties to suggest a name for post of the Prime Minister.

"We urged the Maoists to implement the first point of the three-point deal struck on May 28 at the earliest after the Prime Minister’s resignation," he was quoted as saying by the Himalayan Times online today.

Narayankaji Shrestha, the Maoist vice chairman, said the discussion centred on the peace process and drafting of a new constitution.

Nepali Congress acting president Sushil Koirala, Maoists chairman Prachanda and his deputy leader Baburam Bhattarai took part in the crucial meeting.

The Maoists party and the CPN-UML, which is heading the caretaker governemnt, held talks to form a new coalition, but failed to make any headway as both the parties claimed leadership of a future coalition.

"As the Maoists are the largest party....the new government formed under the Maoist leadership would be a true national consensus government, Bhattarai said.

The Maoist party has set up a three-member committee led by party supremo Prachanda to form a national consensus government under its leadership.

Political parties have been given a July 7 deadline by the President to recommend the name of a new Prime Minister following the resignation of Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal on June 30.

Nepal tendered his resignation after 13 months of intense pressure from the Maoists to step down. It had announced its decision to block the budget session of the Parliament scheduled to be held on July 5 if he did not quit.

The Maoists, who ended their decade-long civil war in 2006, is under pressure from Nepali Congress and CPN-UML to dissolve the paramilitary organisation of its youth wing, the Young Communist League, return seized property and to finalise the numbers and the timeframe for the integration of its former combatants with the security forces before forming a new government.

PTI