Nepal Prez summons Parl to end leadership deadlock

Nepal Prez summons Parl to end leadership deadlock Kathmandu: Nepal's President on Monday summoned the winter session of parliament from January 9 in a bid to end a six-month deadlock over the election of a new prime Minister.

President Dr Ram Baran Yadav summoned the regular session of parliament from January 9 after a meeting with Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal and Speaker Subash Chandra Nembang on Monday. The caretaker prime minister made the recommendation to summon the parliament to Yadav during a meeting with the president at his residence.

The main Opposition Maoist party stepped up pressure on the president to summon a regular session of the House as soon as possible after a deal to end the special session of Parliament on December 23.

UCPN (Maoist) party warned that they would not sit for peace talks unless the government summoned the parliament as agreed earlier.

The House is expected to address key issues, including the election of a new Prime Minister and the formation of a government.

Last week, the President had prorogued the special session of Parliament after a two-point agreement between the three main parties, CPN-UML, Nepali Congress and the Unified CPN-Maoist.

In tune with the accord, the Maoists had agreed to withdraw their twin proposals in the House for terminating the candidacy of of Nepali Congress leader Ram Chandra Poudyal and starting of new election process.

Acting on a request from the main Opposition, Yadav had called a special session of Parliament from December 19 in a bid to break the political deadlock over failure of lawmakers to elect a new leader despite 16 rounds of polls In a landmark verdict aimed at ending the deadlock over the election of a new prime minister, Nepal's Supreme Court earlier this month ruled that lawmakers in parliament cannot choose to remain neutral or abstain from casting their votes in the run-off poll.

It made it mandatory for lawmakers to cast their vote in the parliamentary elections for the post of prime minister.

In a series of run-off polls since June 30, the UCPN (Maoist) and CPN (UML) lawmakers have chosen not to vote for a prime minister while Madhesi parties opted to stay neutral.

CPN-Maoist, which ended its decade-long civil war in 2006, is the single largest party with 238 seats, while Nepali Congress (NC) has 114 members in the House.

The CPN-UML, the third largest party with a strength of 109 and the Madhesi alliance with the combined strength of some 80 lawmakers and other smaller parties have called for a national government.

Premier Nepal is running a caretaker government since he stood down under intense Maoists' pressure.