Nepal parties agree on consensus election govt
Kathmandu: An election government led by the chief justice is likely to be formed soon in crisis-ridden Nepal as ruling and Opposition parties inched closer to a "package deal" that would enable fresh polls by May.
Top leaders of Unified CPN-Maoist, Nepali Congress, CPN-UML and the Joint Madhesi Front in principle agreed yesterday to form a government led by Chief Justice Khil Raj Regmi and to hold Constituent Assembly Elections by May-end, according to Nepali Congress general secretary Prakash Man Singh.
The parties have also formed an eight-member task force comprising two representatives each from major political parties to work out modalities of the proposed government under the chief justice.
The major political forces held formal and informal consultations yesterday and today to hammer out a "package deal" on all issues related to the formation of an election government and to frame rules for forthcoming election, said Pradip Gyawali, standing committee member of the CPN-UML.
Once the task force submits its decision to the major political parties, their top leadership will work out the details of the election government and electoral procedures, Gyawali said.
The leaders are expected to again meet this evening to continue discussions on the matter.
Earlier this month, UCPN chief Prachanda had floated the idea of an election government led by the chief justice, at a party convention.
Nepal has been gripped by a constitutional and political deadlock since May last year when the Constituent Assembly was dissolved without drafting the Constitution.
Elections promised for November were also shelved amid serious differences among the main political parties over who should lead a national unity government, further deepening the crisis.
Since then, President Ram Baran Yadav has unsuccessfully tried several times to get all parties together to agree on a national consensus government to break the deadlock.
Meanwhile, CPN-Maoist, breakaway faction of UCPN-Maoist, and Federal Socialist Party have opposed the idea of forming an election government under the Chief Justice.
CPN-Maoist chairman Mohan Vaidya has warned of an agitation if an election government is formed under the Chief Justice.
Talking to reporters in Biratnagar, an eastern Nepal town, he accused the big political parties of supporting the Baburam Bhattarai-led government, which is "acting as directed by foreign powers".
Similarly, chairman of Federal Socialist Party Ashok Rai has said that the Constituent Assembly should be reinstated to draft the new constitution instead of holding fresh polls under the election government led by the chief justice.