Nepal to have 11 federal states
Kathmandu: In a major breakthrough, Nepal's major political parties on Tuesday reached an agreement on having 11 federal states and a mixed political system including direct elections for the President.
The agreement, which came after several rounds of hectic negotiations, clears the way for announcing the new Constitution by May 27, the set deadline.
The top leaders of the four major political forces, UCPN-Maoist, Nepali Congress, CPN-UML and the Joint Democratic Madhesi Front forged an agreement on the key issues including federal structure and forms of governance, CPN-UML senior leader Bhim Rawal, who was also present at the meeting, said.
The three major parties and the five Madhesi groups have more than 400 seats in the 601 member Constituent Assembly, which means their agreement is expected to get endorsed by the Parliament.
The political parties have agreed on 11 states under the federal structure and mixed system under forms of governance, he said.
However, the names and the boundary of the states are yet to be decided among the parties.
There will be direct elections for president with limited powers and prime minister, who will be elected through the Parliament, will be vested with executive powers, he added.
The president will be the head of the state and the prime minister will be the head of the government and the Parliament's supremacy will be maintained, he added.
The president will have no power to dissolve the Parliament under the mixed system.
After the negotiations, the third largest party CPN-UML has also expressed readiness to join the Baburam Bhattarai-led national unity government, he said.
Until now only the Nepali Congress, CPN-UML and Joint Democratic Madhesi Front, five party grouping, have been the part of the coalition.