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Utpal Parashar, Hindustan Times
Kathmandu, February 11, 2013
Ending months of uncertainty the four major ruling and opposition parties in Nepal agreed on Monday to hold the next parliamentary polls by May end this year.

There has been no agreement yet on who would head the next government, which will conduct polls. A decision on this contentious issue is expected to be taken within the next couple of days.

“Since we can’t agree on the leadership of any party, there is no point wasting more time,” Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai told media persons in Bharatpur on Monday.

Sources say that parties could agree on allowing an independent candidate to head the next government during their meeting with President Ram Baran Yadav this evening.

There are indications that the responsibility of heading the next government could be handed over to the sitting Chief Justice - a formula proposed by the ruling Maoists last week.

Nepal’s interim constitution doesn’t provide such a role for a sitting Supreme Court judge and amendments will have to be put in place before the Chief Justice can assume to role of Prime Minister.

On Saturday the President had asked all the four major parties to reach an agreement on forming the next unity government within two days.

Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai met Yadav on Sunday and expressed willingness to hand over reins of government once the parties agree on a candidate to replace him.

Meanwhile, the country’s election commission has indicated that it might not be possible to hold elections within May unless changes to the constitution and electoral laws are made immediately.