Nepal parties mulling holding fresh elections to CA
Shirish B Pradhan, KATHMANDU (PTI): With just hours to go for the mid-night deadline for promulgating a new post-war Constitution, major political parties in Nepal are looking at the possibility of holding fresh elections to the Constituent Assembly as the only way out from the current stalemate. “After the major parties could not break the ice regarding the model of the federal structure to be adopted in the new constitution, declaring of the new constitution has become almost impossible,” a senior Nepali Congress leader said. “The top leaders of the four major political forces are now holding consultation with the chairman of the Constituent Assembly regarding holding of the fresh election,” he said. The Maoists and the Madhesi Front were in favour of a singular ethnicity based federal structure while the Nepali Congress and the CPN-UML were in favour of multi-ethnicity based federal structure to be incorporated in the new constitution. The Constituent Assembly will be automatically dissolved if parties failed to promulgate the new constitution by mid-night, pushing the country into a fresh political crisis. The Constituent Assembly was elected to a two-year term in 2008 to draft a new constitution but has been unable to finish the task. Its tenure has been extended four times. The Supreme Court last week rejected a three-month extension proposed by the cabinet and asked political parties to complete it within the May 27 deadline. Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai this morning called on President Ram Baran Yadav and briefed him about the latest political development. The President is understood to have told Bhattarai to finalise the constitution so as to avert the deadlock.