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Nepal parties fail to reach agreement on interim Govt

The talks have failed to move forward due to the Maoists demand for key ministries.
PTI | By HT Correspondent, Kathmandu
UPDATED ON MAR 19, 2007 05:40 PM IST

Nepal's ruling alliance along with the Maoists failed to arrive at a final agreement on the common minimum programme and the formation of the interim government that would include the former rebels.

A meeting held at Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala's residence to discuss important issues linked to the formation of the government and amending the interim constitution to address the demands of the Madhesis ended without any concrete decision, Nepal Sadbhavana Party general secretary Rajendra Mahato said on Sunday.

The meeting, which also discussed issues related to the common minimum programme, code of conduct for the interim government and portfolios to be distributed among the eight parties, has been extended till Tuesday since more time was needed to finalise them, he said.

Issues linked to the amendment to the constitution to address the problem of the Terai region bordering India for greater political representation and more share in government jobs and fixing the date for the constituent assembly election were also discussed, he said.

It is learnt the task force of the eight political parties submitted five final drafts of common minimum programme, interim governments code of conduct and issues related to constituent assembly elections that needs to be reconciled.

The talks have failed to move forward mainly due to the Maoists demand for key ministries including that of the senior Deputy Prime Minister, a cabinet member said on condition of anonymity. Sources said that the Nepali Congress, UML and Maoists had staked claim to important portfolios such as deputy prime minister, Home, Defence and Finance ministries.

"Why should other parties join the government if the Nepali Congress does not want to share important ministries among the other parties? a leader who took part in the meet was quoted as saying in the media. He said the PM would be held responsible if polls could not be held in mid-June due to delay in forming the interim government.

The leaders of the ruling parties have urged the Maoists to stop displaying arms, return the land and property they seized from people and allow the displaced persons to return home in order to create a peaceful atmosphere for the upcoming election, Mahato said.

The new government is likely to be formed after Tuesday's cabinet meeting finalises portfolios and common minimum programmes, he said.

Top leaders of the eight political parties including Koirala, CPN-UML general secretary Madhav Kumar Nepal, Maoist chief Prachanda and Nepali Congress (Democratic) President Sher Bahadur Deuba were among those present at the meeting.

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