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Former king accused of playing spoiler as Nepal peace talks resume

By Jason Overdorf: As Nepal’s political leaders met to begin hammering out issues that have prevented them from drafting a new constitution on Sunday, a top communist leader threatened to jail former king Gyanendra for allegedly meddling in the peace talks — underway since the end of the civil war between Maoist revolutionaries and government forces in 2006 — as they enter the final phase.

The top leaders of the three major parties, including Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai, Maoist chief Prachanda, Nepali Congress president Sushil Koirala and CPN-UML president Jhala Nath Khanal, are holding a key meeting in Hattiban Resort focusing their entire attention to matters relating to the constitution drafting, the Press Trust of India (PTI) quoted sources close to the Nepalese prime minister as saying.

They are expected to settle contentious issues such as forms of governance and types of federal structure to be incorporated in the new constitution, the agency said.

Meanwhile, Madhav Kumar Nepal, the former Prime Minister and senior leader of CPN-UML, warned the Gyanendra that he would be sent to jail if he tried to disrupt the 2006 peace process and drafting of a new constitution, the agency said separately.

The threat comes weeks after the former monarch was accused by Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai of conspiring against the peace process.

Gyanendra, the 66-year-old former king, has increased his appearances at public and religious functions over the last few months and has spoken out against what he called the deteriorating law and order situation in the country.

Democratic leaders interpreted his statements as an effort to derail the negotiations for a new constitution, ostensibly in an effort to re-establish some sort of monarchy.

Published Date: Monday, April 16th, 2012 | 04:05 AM

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