Nepal to extend parliamentary term after PM 'agrees' to resign

Nepal's prime minister has agreed to resign, his spokesman said Saturday, as the country's three main parties prepared to form a power-sharing government following a deal to avert a political crisis.

Nepal to extend parliamentary term after PM 'agrees' to resign

Nepal's prime minister has agreed to resign, his spokesman said Saturday, as the country's three main parties prepared to form a power-sharing government following a deal to avert a political crisis.

Madhav Kumar Nepal said he would step down in a last-minute bid to secure the support of Maoist lawmakers for a bill to extend parliament's term, which was due to end Friday and leave the country without a functioning legislature.

Deputies voted 580 to five in favour of extending the term of the assembly, giving delegates enough time to write the Himalayan republic's first constitution, officials said.

"The prime minister will clear the way for the formation of a government of national consensus soon," Arjun Narsingh K.C., a senior official of the Nepali Congress, the biggest party in the ruling front, told reporters.

Nepal is currently governed under an interim constitution.

The opposition Maoist party won elections in 2008 and took power for nine months, abolishing Nepal's 240-year-old Hindu monarchy and turning the country into a secular republic.

But their government fell last year in a disagreement over the integration of their former fighters into the national army.

"Issues"


These include the integration of thousands of former Maoist fighters into the national army and the disbanding of the party's armed youth wing, the Young Communist League, which rival parties say is an obstacle to lasting peace.

The Maoists fought a decade-long civil war against the state before agreeing to lay down their arms in a 2006 peace agreement. But four years later, many of the terms of that deal remain unfulfilled.

The parliament, or Constituent Assembly, was elected two years ago to write a new constitution for the young republic, paving the way for fresh polls and turning the page on the civil war.

But it failed to do so by the May 28 deadline, amid fierce wrangling between the Maoists and the ruling Communist Party of Nepal (UML) and Nepali Congress parties.

The extension agreed late Friday gives the CA another year to complete its mission, and Maoist spokesman Dinanath Sharma said his party had agreed to "take the peace process to a logical conclusion and finish the tasks that remain".

Saturday is a public holiday in Nepal as the nation celebrates its second Republic Day -- the anniversary of the abolition of the 240-year-old Hindu monarchy.

Formal talks between party leaders on forming a new government will begin on Sunday, and the president urged them to put the country before their own interests.

Agencies

Last Mod: 29 Mayıs 2010, 15:38
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