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Nepal set for uphill task as crisis looms

world Updated: May 28, 2012 23:47 IST
Utpal Parashar

Nepal’s celebrated its fifth republic day on Monday. But the air in Kathmandu especially at Tundikhel Ground, the official venue of celebrations, was of gloom.

In 2008, the country abolished monarchy and became republic on this very date. The newly elected Constituent Assembly to draft a new constitution also met for the first time on the same day.

But with the CA getting dissolved on Sunday midnight without completing its task and fresh elections due in another six months, the country faces a fresh political crisis.

The new constitution, Nepal’s seventh, after end of the decade-long Maoist insurgency, was expected to usher in lasting peace and rid Nepal of its tag of least developed nations.

That will now have to wait.

“It’s a very sad development in Nepal’s history. My government had not spared any effort in trying to complete the constitution,” said Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai in his address at Tundikhel.

Apologizing to the nation he appealed to all Nepalese to make the November 22 elections to elect a new CA successful.

Terming it unconstitutional, Bhattarai’s decision to hold elections has been opposed by Nepali Congress and Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist Leninist), the two biggest parties after ruling Maoists.

“It was a unilateral decision by the Prime Minister and we are going to oppose it,” said NC general secretary Krishna Prasad Sitaula. Leaders from CPN (UML) also aired similar views.