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Nepal: Parties fail to end deadlock
June 04, 2008 15:47 IST
Nepal's major parties on Wednesday failed to break an impasse over the formation of a new government as efforts to strike a deal on sharing of power proved futile.
During crucial talks in Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala's residence here, the Maoists rejected a proposal from Nepali Congress and the CPN-UML to amend the interim constitution to remove a provision requiring two-thirds majority for forming or unseating the government.
However, the three parties have agreed to sit for another round of talks in the evening, party sources said.
Bickering over sharing of power has delayed the formation of a new government, even as nearly two months have passed since the former rebels emerged as the single largest party in the historic Constituent Assembly polls.
The two other parties, whose combined strength in the 601-member Assembly is 213 against the Maoists' 220, want the provision amended as requiring two-thirds majority will make it impossible for them to remove an incumbent Maoist prime minister. They are instead pushing for allowing simple majority for forming and dissolving the government.
The Maoists have threatened to quit the interim government and launch a fresh stir if they were not allowed to form a government unconditionally.
"Today's meeting mainly focused on amending the constitution to clear barriers to forming the new government," CPN-UML general secretary Jhalanath Khanal said.
He said doing away with the two-thirds provision will "strengthen the democratic process."
"We have proposed that the present provision must be changed and I am hopeful that the Maoists will show some flexibility this time," Khanal said.
The Maoists have been claiming that being the largest party in the Constituent Assembly, they should be allowed to form a government and both the posts of President and Prime Minister should be given to them, which the two other parties oppose.
"If the Nepali Congress and CPN-UML do not withdraw their conditions and allow us to form the next government we will
Koirala, meanwhile, stressed on the need to continue the politics of consensus and cooperation for the "next ten years"