SHIRISH B PRADHAN, KATHMANDU: Political parties in Nepal failed to reach a consensus on forming a national unity government as the week-long deadline given by President Ram Baran Yadav to complete the exercise ended today.
The talks failed as the ruling alliances UCPN-Maoist and Joint Madhesi Front and the opposition parties Nepali Congress and CPN-UML stuck to their respective stance, Nepali Congress sources said.
With the deadlock continuing the President is likely to extend the deadline by a few days to enable the political parties to sort out their differences.
The President had last week extended the deadline till tonight after the leaders of political parties said they need some more time for reaching an agreement to form the unity government.
However, despite hectic negotiation through out the week the parties failed to decide on the prime ministerial candidate.
The top leaders of the major political parties made a last ditch effort today but it failed to make any headway.
The meeting was attended by UCPN-Maoist chief Prachanda, Nepali Congress President Sushil Koirala, CPN-UML chairman Jhala Nath Khanal and Joint Madhesi Front leader Bijaya Kumar Gachhadar.
The ruling alliance has asked the opposition parties to resolve the contentious issues of the Constitution before they could hand over power to the opposition.
“The meeting failed to reach any agreement as the Maoists were stick to their earlier stance and were not ready to quit the power before sorting out differences on the key issues of the Constitution,” Nepali Congress General Secretary Prakash Man Singh said.
The parties have agreed to sit again for resolving the issue, but the date for the next meeting is not decided yet, he told PTI.
Earlier in the day, the Federal Democratic Republican Alliance (FDRA), a coalition of parties supporting the ruling alliance, said Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai would tender his resignation only after an agreement is reached for a package deal.
Government spokesman and Communication Minister Raj Kishor Yadav told journalists that the FDRA agreed to reach consensus in a package deal that includes among other things a roadmap for amendment to the Interim Constitution and formulation of electoral laws, the date for the next CA elections and modalities of a national unity government.
Yesterday, the Nepali Congress proposed party President Sushil Koirala’s name as a candidate for the post of Prime Minister to lead the national consensus government.
Nepal plunged into political and constitutional crisis after Bhattarai dissolved the Constituent Assembly without promulgating the Constitution as promised by him in May.
The political crisis further deepened after the elections announced by the Prime Minister could not be conducted on the stipulated date of November 22.
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