Major political parties in Nepal failed yet again to arrive at a consensus on forming the next government even as the second deadline given by President Ram Baran Yadav expired on Monday.
The meeting of leaders of Nepali Congress, CPN-UML and UCPN (Maoist) held on Monday afternoon failed to bury their differences and end the deadlock over formation of a ‘national unity government’.
“Since no consensus has been reached within the deadline, we will try and form a majority government as per provisions of the interim constitution,” said CPN-UML chairman Jhalanath Khanal after the meeting.
Agreeing to a request by political parties, the President had extended the government formation deadline by five days for the second time last week.
Earlier Yadav had given the parties a seven day deadline following resignation of Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal last month. But the three big parties refused to budge from their stands.
While Nepali Congress and CPN-UML want the opposition Maoists to spell out the exact number of former rebels to be integrated into security forces, UCPN-(Maoist) has refused to agree to the demand.
On Saturday, Maoists had laid out the three-month plan to integrate or rehabilitate nearly 15,000 former rebels staying in UN-monitored camps. But the other two parties refused to accept the plan.
Although leaders stated that efforts to forge a consensus would continue, it seems unlikely at the moment.
And with that not happening, Nepal is headed towards formation of a majority government based on voting by members of the Constituent Assembly.
Despite enjoying majority, Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal had resigned on June 30 as per a three-point agreement signed among the three major parties on May 28 to extend the CA tenure by another year.
The agreement had stipulated formation of a ‘national consensus government’ in order to take the peace process to an end and to ensure drafting of the country’s constitution within the extended period.
Speaking at CA on Monday for the first time after his resignation, Nepal blamed the Maoists for the present stalemate and accused them of failing to fulfill past commitments.