Failing to arrive at a consensus on formation of the next government, political parties in Nepal have asked President Ram Baran Yadav to extend the deadline.
On August 8, a day after Prime Minister Jhalanath Khanal resigned, Yadav had given an August 21 deadline to all parties to form the next government through consensus.
But with two major parties, Maoists and Nepali Congress, insisting on heading the next government, there was no agreement on formation of government within that deadline.
Maoists are pitching for vice-chairman Baburam Bhattarai while Nepali Congress have put forward Sher Bahadur Deuba’s name for the prime minister’s post.
Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist Leninist) and the forum of Madhesi parties have decided not to head the next government. Caretaker Prime Minister Khanal belongs to CPN (UML).
On Sunday after several rounds of failed bilateral and multilateral talks failed to provide any positive outcome, the parties agreed to ask Yadav to extend the deadline by three more days.
"As we have not been able to agree yet on formation of a consensus government, we have decided to ask the President to extend the deadline," Maoist vice-chairman Narayan Kaji Shrestha told reporters.
As per provision of Nepal’s interim constitution, if the parties fail to select a prime minister through consensus, it has to be done through majority vote in parliament.
Since no party enjoys majority in parliament, the process gets stuck. Last time when Madhav Kumar Nepal resigned, it took seven months and 16 rounds of voting before Khanal was elected in February.
Nepal’s peace process and constitution drafting have suffered due to political instability. Another deadline to complete both tasks ends on August 31, the day when tenure of the Constitution Assembly also expires.