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Hectic consultations in Nepal to elect new PM

KATHMANDU (PTI): Major political parties in Nepal began hectic consultations to find a way out of the ongoing crisis as the seven-day deadline set by President Ram Baran Yadav to elect a new prime minister approaches.

Also, more than a dozen heads of Kathmandu-based diplomatic missions including India met with top political leaders of Nepal like President Yadav, Nepali Congress chairman Sushil Koirala and CPN-UML chairman Jhala Nath Khanal over lunch.

They termed as positive the president’s move to elect a consensus Prime Ministerial candidate by November 29 to replace Baburam Bhattarai, according to Nepali Congress general-secretary Prakash Man Singh, who was also present on the occasion.

Besides Indian ambassador to Nepal Jayant Prasad, ambassadors of USA, UK, Germany, Russia and France were also present during the luncheon organised by Nepali Congress yesterday.

The president’s “move will certainly help in resolving the current political impasse,” they said and stressed the need “to forge consensus and collaboration among the political parties to end the crisis and hold new election at the earliest” to draft a constitution, according to Singh.

Similarly, three top leaders of major political parties, Maoist chief Prachanda, Nepali Congress president Sushil Koirala and CPN-UML chairman Jhalanath Khanal also separately held consultations to find a way out.

During the meeting they stressed on the need to forge consensus and collaboration to find a way out from the current stalemate, according to highly-placed party sources.

Meanwhile, the CPN-UML standing committee has decided to support a Nepali Congress-led government to replace Bhattarai-led coalition.

The decision comes a day after President Yadav called on political parties to form a consensus government by November 29, as per Article 38 sub-clause 1 of the interim constitution.

UML chairman Khanal told reporters that the party has taken president’s move as positive and would play active role in forming a consensus government that would conduct fresh election to the Constituent Assembly in 2013 after clearing constitutional and legal hurdles.

Nepali Congress is set to hold its crucial Central Working Committee meeting in a day or two to decide about its Prime Ministerial candidate.

As the UCPN-Maoist and CPN-UML have formed governments twice under their leadership in the post Constituent Assembly election of 2008, the Nepali Congress has staked its claim to lead the next government that would conduct the new election.

The party’s CWC meeting will be held shortly as soon senior leader of the party Sher Bahadur Deuba arrives in Kathmandu tomorrow from his home district, said Singh.

The party is likely to decide its Prime Ministerial candidate from among former Prime Minister Deuba, party president Sushil Koirala and vice-president of the party Ram Chandar Poudyal, party sources said.

Published Date: Sunday, November 25th, 2012 | 09:04 AM

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