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Solutions aplenty to end Nepal PM poll deadlock

With no end to the current prime ministerial poll deadlock in sight, parties in Nepal are now offering solutions to forge a consensus.

world Updated: Nov 04, 2010 16:47 IST
Utpal Parashar

With no end to the current prime ministerial poll deadlock in sight, parties in Nepal are now offering solutions to forge a consensus.

The 17th round of voting failed again on Thursday with lone candidate, Nepali Congress leader Ram Chandra Poudel, securing just 82 votes.

While 300 votes are needed for a win only 101 lawmakers of the total 601 in Constituent Assembly took part in voting.

The next round of voting will be held on November 15.

As the impasse continues, the three major parties—Nepali Congress, United Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) and Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist Leninist) are suggesting solutions.

Earlier this week, Poudel indicated that he would quit the PM race in favour of UCPN (M) chief Pushpa Kamal Dahal if Maoists agree to four pre-conditions.

They are integration of Maoist combatants, disbanding of the party's para-military structure, logical end to the peace process and drafting of a democratic constitution.

Dahal responded by agreeing to sit in opposition and accepting a NC-CPN (UML) coalition government if Poudel withdraws his candidature.

Poudel rejected the idea and urged Maoists and CPN-UML to vote him to power. "I will step down once consensus is reached," he said on Wednesday.

CPN-UML chief Jhalanath Khanal feels all three major parties should occupy the PM's post on a rotational basis till May 28, 2011—the extended deadline for drafting the new constitution.

Caretaker Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal meanwhile has threatened to hand over reigns of administration to the President if a full budget is not presented by November 16.

Besides political gridlock, Nepal is also staring at economic crisis as the country's budget has got delayed by four months due to non-formation of a new government.

Maoists are opposing presentation of a full budget by a caretaker government.