Nepal President Ram Baran Yadav has extended the earlier deadline given to political parties to form a national unity government by another seven days.
The move came on Thursday evening after parties failed to form a government comprising all parties through consensus within 4:00 pm November 29 as earlier appealed by Yadav.
“The President took the decision to extend the deadline till December 6 following request made by leaders of major political parties,” informed Rajendra Dahal, media advisor to the President.
With this the six-month old political and constitutional crisis in Nepal following dissolution of the Constituent Assembly in May is likely to get prolonged further.
Last Friday the President’s office had issued a statement urging all parties both in government and opposition to reach an agreement on resolving the crisis and name a new prime minister to head the unity government.
But differences among parties on who should head the next government prevented them from agreeing on a common name even after several rounds of meetings in the past six days.
While opposition parties had welcomed Yadav’s deadline the caretaker government comprising Maoist and Madhesi parties dubbed the move as unconstitutional.
Leaders of major political parties met Yadav at his official residence on Thursday evening and sought more time for consensus. Following this request the deadline was extended.
Nepal’s interim constitution provides that if parties fail to meet the deadline on forming a consensus government, the President can direct the parliament to elect a majority government through vote.
But since Nepal doesn’t have a parliament at present it is unclear what would happen if parties fail to stick to the deadline and Yadav refuses to extend the time limit further.