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Nepal’s pol parties in fresh dialogue to break deadlock

KATHMANDU(PTI):  After days of political squabbling, Nepal’s major parties on Wednesday initiated another dialogue process to hammer out a solution to the constitutional crisis that has plagued the country for months. Both the ruling alliance and the opposition, have once again initiated the process of dialogue to end the two month long political impasse that emerged after Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai unilaterally announced fresh election on November 22 by dissolving the Constituent Assembly (CA).

However, the main opposition parties, the Nepali Congress and the CPN-UML have been pursuing a two-pronged strategy to topple Baburam Bhattarai led government, which includes agitation as well as dialogue.”We are sitting for dialogue with the government as well as taking to the street to exert pressure on Prime Minister Bhattarai to step down,” Nepali Congress Vice-chairman Ramchandra Poudyal said, who attended the three party meeting convened today to resolve the crisis.

We have agreed to start a new process to settle the political crisis including the formation of the consensus government and resolving the contentious issues of the constitution, Poudyal told PTI after the meeting concluded.

Maoist chief Prachanda, Nepali Congress president Sushil Koirala, Vice-president Poudyal and CPN-UML chairman Jhalanath Khanal were present at the meeting. Poudyal, however reiterated that Bhattarai should first step down to initiate the process of forging consensus.

“Once the Prime Minister quits, we are ready to forge consensus on other contentious issues including the constitution drafting,” Poudyal said.

“We are ready to give a common Prime Ministerial candidate on behalf of the opposition parties once the Prime Minister quits to pave way for formation of a national government,” he added.

However, the Maoists have been pushing for a package deal before quitting the government.

He said, Nepali Congress will pursue both dialogue and agitation to exert pressure on Bhattarai to step down.

The top leaders of the political parties during the meeting mainly dwelt on formation of a national consensus government, resolving disputed issues of the constitution and holding fresh election to the CA to draft the constitution.

They also discussed whether the November 22 election date could be differed in view of the lack of time for introducing regulations related to conducting polls.

Meanwhile, eight student and youth organisations belonging to Nepali Congress and CPN-UML have organised protest rallies in Kathmandu as part of the main opposition’s pressure tactics to dislodge Prime Minister Bhattarai.

They said the agitation will continue until and unless the Prime Minister resigns from the post.

Published Date: Wednesday, July 25th, 2012 | 03:10 PM

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