President serves third deadline, of six days

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KATHMANDU, DEC 08 -

President Ram Baran Yadav once again extended the deadline for the parties to pick a common prime ministerial candidate on Friday, by six days, after they failed to name a leader for the top job in the two weeks he had given.

Renewing his call for the second time on the request of four political forces—UCPN (Maoist), Nepali Congress, CPN- UML and the Samyukta Loktantrik Madhesi Morcha, the President asked the parties to hammer out a deal within the stipulated time.

UCPN (Maoist) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal went to Sheetal Niwas on Friday morning as a representative of the four major political forces and requested the President to extend the deadline again, assuring that the parties would try their utmost to reach consensus on all disputed issues by the new due date.

A four-party meeting on Thursday had agreed to seek a deadline extension of six days.

Major party leaders wasted the first seven days, arguing for and against the call and entered formal negotiations only during the seven days of the second deadline.

The situation is divisive and unclear even after the Nepali Congress, the second largest party in the dissolved Constituent Assembly, declared party President Sushil Koirala as its prime ministerial candidate. Parties are in a dilemma over owning up the past agreements made at various levels of the dissolved assembly.

“The situation is likely to remain complicated for a number of days and I do not see any larger political pact between the parties on election, premiership and power-sharing within the extended deadline,” said a leader from the ruling coalition.Opposition leaders have accused the ruling parties of hatching conspiracies not to let the Congress be at helm and to avert elections any time in near future.

“Upon the request of the major parties, the President once again extended the deadline by six days,” said President’s Press Adviser Rajendra Dahal.

During the meeting with the President, the Maoist boss apprised the head of state on the negotiations going on among the parties.

Afterwards, Dahal told reporters that talks among the parties were focused on attempts to form a unity government, arrangements for next CA elections and amendment to electoral laws. “We are engaged in serious talks to end the current impasse and decided to continue them by extending the deadline. Upon our request, the President has agreed to extend the deadline again,” said Dahal.

In the meeting, President Yadav told Dahal that as the leader of the largest party in the dissolved assembly and one of the signatories to several past accords, Dahal’s role was crucial to ending the political stalemate.

“I told him everything about our talks and the President urged me to reach consensus soon on holding the elections in April/May,” Dahal said. “Gauzing the spirit of the talks among the parties, everyone is desperate to reach an agreement within the extended deadline.”

This is the first time that the President has formally given the parties a third deadline for an agreement.

Posted on: 2012-12-08 08:26