Failing to arrive at a consensus within the Friday deadline, political parties in Nepal sought five more days from President Ram Baran Yadav to form the next government.
Leaders of the three major parties—Maoists, Nepali Congress and Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist Leninist) however claimed that they have reached an agreement on power sharing.
The three parties have agreed to support a government led by anyone among them. But there’s no agreement yet on who would lead it.
Yadav had asked the parties to select a prime minister through consensus within January 21 midnight. But, with all three big players seeking the post, no compromise was reached.
Agreeing to the request made by NC, Maoists and CPN (UML), the other 25 smaller parties in parliament also urged the President to extend the government formation deadline.
Nepal now faces a situation similar to last year when political parties failed to form a government through consensus after resignation of Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal in June.
It led to 16 rounds of unsuccessful voting in parliament without any candidate securing majority votes. The cycle ended earlier this month with lone NC candidate Ram Chandra Poudel withdrawing.
If the parties again fail to reach consensus within the extra time, another round of voting to elect the next prime minister is likely.
A five member parliamentary committee formed to amend the rules to make PM election more result oriented has also failed to make much headway due to different views of the three major parties.
Deadlock over government formation has affected completion of the peace process and drafting of the new constitution—both of which have to be completed within the extended May 28 deadline.