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Nepal crisis ‘ends’, polls in mid-April

Nepal's political crisis ends partially as the ruling Seven Party-Alliance (SPA) agrees to hold the Constituent Assembly elections by mid-April.

world Updated: Dec 16, 2007 00:03 IST
Anirban Roy

Nepal's political crisis on Saturday ended partially as the ruling Seven Party-Alliance (SPA) agreed to hold the Constituent Assembly elections by mid-April.

After the decision of the SPA leaders, the cabinet prepared a bill to amend the interim constitution for extension of the interim government and holding of the crucial CA election.

The bill to amend the interim constitution was tabled in the parliament and was passed by voice vote. "The political development is a paradigm of the unity among the ruling parties," Ram Chandra Poudel, the Peace and Reconstruction Minister, said.

The Himalayan nation was caught in a constitutional crisis over the issue of the amendment of the interim statute, which was valid till Saturday. The SPA leaders have agreed to meet on Sunday to forge an agreement on the remaining outstanding issues.

The parties also arrived at a consensus on the voting system for CA election. As per the agreement, in the 601-member constituent assembly, 335 seats would be filled up in a fully proportional system.

The number of seats elected under first-past-the-post will be 240 while the number of CA members to be nominated by the Prime Minister has been increased to 26 from 17.

The parties have also agreed to amend the interim constitution, incorporating 'democratic republic', and would be endorsed by the first sitting of the CA.

Parties have also agreed to iron out the differences over the Maoist demand for cabinet reshuffle.