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Utpal Parashar, Hindustan Times
Kathmandu, May 13, 2011
With no chance of drafting a new constitution within the May 28 deadline, the Jhalanath Khanal government in Nepal decided on Thursday to extend the time limit by another year. Khanal, who cut short a trip to Turkey, took the decision at a meeting of coalition partners and smaller parties soon after his return on Thursday.

Nepali Congress and three Madhes-based parties — Madhesi Peoples’ Rights Forum (Democratic), Sadbhawana Party and Terai Madhes Democratic Party remained absent.

A cabinet meeting later decided to table a motion in the Constituent Assembly to extend the deadline by amending the interim constitution with a two-third majority vote.

The tenure of the CA, which is entrusted with drafting the new constitution, was extended by a year on May 28 last year. Nepal’s lawmakers have failed to give the country its new constitution within the deadline.

Resentment is brewing among the public against lawmakers for their failure to draft a new constitution and conclude the peace process despite expiry of the deadline twice.