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November poll indecisive; President urges poll-opposing alliance to participate in election

KATHMANDU: With the High Level Political Committee (HLPC), the cross-party task-force of major political parties and the poll opposing 33-party remaining adamant to their stance regarding the election of the constituent assembly, it seems that there is slim chance of holding the election with participation from all the political parties.

President Dr Ram Baran Yadav, who has been trying to narrow down differences among the political parties, has urged the agitating alliance of 33 various political parties led by Mohan Baidya to participate in the scheduled election by settling their differences though negotiations with the parties represented in HLPC.

In a meeting with the agitating alliance leaders who had reached Shital Niwas Monday evening to apprise him of their failed negotiations with the HLPC, President Dr Yadav pointed out the need to hold elections at the earliest.

“The country cannot afford to remain without people´s representatives for long. Do forge consensus with the HLPC to join the poll and participate in it,” President’s press advisor Rajendra Dahal quoted Dr Yadav as telling the leaders of the agitating alliance.

Dr Yadav also urged the agitating parties to settle their differences by sitting for negotiations with the HLPC. CPN-Maoist Chairman Mohan Baidya, Secretary Dev Gurung and other senior leaders including Ram Bahadur Thapa had reached the president´s office.

According to Dahal, President Yadav also asked top leaders of the major parties represented in the HLPC to continue putting in maximum effort to bring the dissenting parties on board the election process.

During the negotiations on Monday, HLPC leaders offered to the Baidya alliance to expand the cabinet, form a separate mechanism to forge consensus on various contentious issues of the new statute and provide additional time for the parties affiliated with the agitating alliance to register with the election commission and file candidacies for the November poll. “The talks hit a snag over the resignation of Regmi as chief justice,” CPN-Maoist Secretary Dev Gurung told media after the meeting.

HLPC leaders have announced they will continue holding negotiations with the Baidya alliance though they failed to arrive anywhere near consensus on Monday. The HLPC and poll-opposing 33-party alliance failed to reach into consensus as the poll opposing alliance demanded resignation of Khil Raj Regmi from the post of Chief Justice while the HLPC denied it. The HLPC informed that resignation of Regmi from the Chief Justice will derail the political process. Earlier, the 33-party alliance decided to go ahead for November election even if the poll opposing alliance does not come forward for the electoral process. The Election Commission is facing pressure to complete all the tasks for November poll as the major political parties remained indecisive regarding the participation of poll opposing parties. Earlier the Commission informed that it would not be feasible to hold the election on November if the agreement with poll-opposing parties was not made at the earliest.

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