Nepal continued to wait with baited breath as ruling parties and opposition Maoists remained deadlocked on extending the Constituent Assembly’s tenure to enable drafting of the new constitution.
The CA tenure ends on Friday midnight. And if it doesn’t get extended within that deadline the country will plunge into constitutional and political crisis.
Hectic parleys and last minute lobbying continued since morning to find a way out of the impending crisis but both the ruling parties and the opposition Maoists refused to budge from their stands.
Maoists refused to support the motion to extend the CA tenure till Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal was removed and the ruling parties refused to accede to such pre-conditions. Maoist leadership issued a whip to its members asking them to vote against the motion if their demand was not met. “We will prefer to stay outside than bow down,” said Maoist spokesperson Dinanath Sharma. Support of Maoists who have 40 percent representation in CA is crucial as a two-third majority vote is needed to amend the interim constitution and extend its tenure to speed up constitution drafting.
“If it doesn’t happen CA ceases to exist from Friday midnight and the government becomes non-functional. An interim government is likely to take over till the next election,” said CA Chairman Subhash Nemwang.
Set up two years ago following a historic election at the end of a civil war, the CA was to formulate a permanent constitution for Nepal. But political deadlock over the past year prevented it from happening.