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Nepal parties agree to end deadlock

world Updated: Apr 29, 2010 01:03 IST
Utpal Parashar
Utpal Parashar
Hindustan Times
indefinite strike

In a last ditch attempt at forging a consensus ahead of the indefinite strike called by Maoists, the three major political parties of Nepal agreed on Wednesday to step up efforts to end the present deadlock.

In a ‘decisive debate’ televised by all TV channels and radio networks, the ruling Nepali Congress and CPN (UML) and UCPN (Maoist), the main opposition party, agreed to find a solution within the next two days.

“We request all parties to reach a consensus on all the key issues and the government to make way for such agreement within April 30 so that we can call off our demonstration and indefinite strike,” said UCPN (M) chief Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’.

Nepal’s main opposition party is planning to stage a massive demonstration in Kathmandu on May 1 and launch an indefinite strike across the nation from May 2 in order to remove the government and ensure that the peace and constitution drafting processes gets completed within the May 28 deadline.

“We are ready to step down from government and make way for a national unity government if a package deal addressing all issues is reached and the Maoists call off their strike,” said CPN (UML) chief Jhalanath Khanal.

Nepali Congress stated that it is the responsibility of the Maoists to create a conducive atmosphere so that the “crisis of confidence” among the political parties gets over.

“We resolve to address all issues through talks and consensus if the Maoists call off the strike,” said Sushil Koirala, acting president of the party.

The three-hour-long debate organized by the Federation of Nepalese Chamber of Commerce and Industry also witnessed leaders of the three parties airing their views on several key issues including integration of the former Maoist rebels in Nepal Army and power-sharing.

Despite differences, the leaders agreed that all key issues can be resolved through consensus and the peace and constitution drafting process completed within the May 28 deadline.