Polls only option to end constitutional logjam in Nepal | world | Hindustan Times
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Polls only option to end constitutional logjam in Nepal

Fresh poll to elect a new Constituent Assembly is the only option available to deliver Nepal's new constitution, the country's major political parties have concluded. Utpal Parashar reports.

world Updated: Sep 21, 2012 00:03 IST
Utpal Parashar

Fresh poll to elect a new Constituent Assembly is the only option available to deliver Nepal's new constitution, the country's major political parties have concluded.



The ruling Maoist-Madeshi coalition and opposition Nepali Congress and Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist Leninist) decided on holding fresh elections on Wednesday evening.



The decision ends the debate whether the dissolved CA can be revived to draft the constitution. But details of holding fresh polls are unclear and differences among parties on other issues still linger.



"Revival of the CA was not possible as we failed to bridge existing differences. Hence fresh poll to elect a new CA is the only option available," said CPN (UML) chairman Jhalanath Khanal.



The parties will engage in more meetings in coming days to form a national unity government comprising all parties under whose stewardship the fresh elections would be held.



There are differences on which party would head such a government. While the ruling coalition wants Maoists to continue heading the government with other parties joining it, NC is insisting on taking that role.



Doubts also persist on whether the tasks in constitution drafting completed by the previous CA would remain valid once the new CA is elected or will the process start afresh.



While the dissolved CA comprised of 601 members, it is not clear how many members would the new CA have and what would be the process adopted to elect them.



Though parties have agreed revival of CA is not possible they might have to reinstate it for a brief period to amend provisions of the interim constitution to allow holding of fresh polls.



The interim constitution had no provision on what would happen if CA failed to draft a new statute. Besides amending it through CA to hold fresh election, the cabinet could ask the President to do it.



"But if the interim constitution is amended by the President on directions of the cabinet, it will set a wrong precedent," 'The Himalayan Times' quoted chairman of the dissolved CA Subas Nembang.



Nepal's CA got dissolved in May this year, four years after its formation, following failure by parties and lawmakers to draft a new constitution despite expiry of several deadlines.



Though most work on drafting the statute was complete, differences among parties on creating federal states on basis of ethnicity and forms of government led to failure in promulgating it on time.