'Mini-Parl' to resolve Nepal's political crisis



Kathmandu: A two-day "Mini-Parliament", involving representatives from all political parties, civil and ethnic groups, has been convened to draw a road-map to resolve Nepal's current political stalemate.

"I have called a general assembly involving all political parties, ethnic groups and civil society members on Friday and Saturday during which serious discussions will be held to draw a road map to promulgate the constitution and rescue the country from the current political crisis through consensus among all sides," Sadbhawana Party President and Health Minister Rajendra Mahato told a press conference here on Wednesday.

Some 400 representatives including Maoist chief Prachanda, Nepali Congress President Sushil Koirala, CPN-UML President Jhalanath Khanal and other senior leaders from different ethnic groups such as Madhesis, Dalits, women and marginalised groups, civil society leaders and media persons are invited at the two-day conference, he said.

Mahato's "Mini-Parliament" is being convened at a time when major parties including Nepali Congress and CPN-UML are demanding Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai's resignation to pave way for forming a national consensus government.

The opposition parties have announced that they would boycott the fresh election for Constituent Assembly called by Bhattarai for November 22 saying that the move was "unilateral and undemocratic".

The gathering will serve as platform for the political parties to resolve the contentious issues of the constitution and finding an alternative to Bhattarai, who has come under fire from the opposition amidst intensified pressure for his ouster.

Nepal is currently passing through a deeper political crisis with the parties failing to draft the constitution mainly due to disagreement over whether the states should be federated on the basis of single ethnicity or multi-ethnic-cultural-geographical basis.

Meanwhile, President Ram Baran Yadav indicated that he would endorse only partial budget for the new fiscal year as pressure mounts from opposition parties including Nepali Congress and CPN-UML not to announce full budget for new fiscal year beginning mid-July unless national consensus was formed on the same.

PTI