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Nepal still to decide election date

world Updated: Jun 22, 2007 06:40 IST
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Living up to its image of being unable to take quick decisions due to bickering among coalition partners, Nepal's government on Thursday failed to announce a new date for the stalled election and said it would form a committee to reach a consensus.

Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala and his ministers were expected to arrive at a fresh date after a cabinet meeting on Thursday but failed to reach a consensus yet again.

Information and Communications Minister Krishna Bahadur Mahara, who is also the government spokesperson, told the media the new date could be announced at the next cabinet meeting, scheduled to be held Sunday.

In April, after the Maoists joined the seven-party ruling alliance, it was announced that the constituent assembly election would be held on June 20.

However, the poll had to be postponed after the Election Commission said it needed more time to make arrangements and the government needed to improve the law and order situation in the country, especially in the Terai plains, where nearly 90 people have been killed this year.

The postponement necessitated a change in the new constitution that had pledged to hold elections by June.

This month, after over six weeks of impasse in parliament, the house finally passed the amendment and agreed to hold the election in November.

Though the Election Commission had recommended a poll date in the first week of November, no concrete date has been announced so far, causing Maoist leaders to express fears that the poll may not be held at all.