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Nepali Political Parties Trading Accusations for Impasse

June 22, 2008

The new republic Nepal continues to confront a bitter political deadlock and a blame game after the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) (CPN-M) decided to quit the government.

The political parties are still yet to name the first president of the world's youngest republic. And they have also failed to nominate 26 members by the cabinet to make the full representation in the 601-member Constitutional Assembly (CA).

The political parties are facing strong criticism for prolonging the political tensions after the CA elections were held on April 10. Due to the deadlock, the meeting of the newly elected CA was adjourned for indefinite period last Wednesday.

The CPN-M, which emerged as the largest party in the newly elected Constituent Assembly (CA) pulled out from the government on Friday, accusing Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala of refusing to step down to make ways for the formation of a new government.

"Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala has refused to resign even after his party Nepali Congress (NC) was defeated in the election. His lust for the power and his desire to be the first president is the major stumbling block to reach an agreement," CPN-M leader Mohan Baidhya told Xinhua Sunday.

"If Koirala steps down allowing us to form a new government, the political process will come in track," he added.

However, Prime Minister Koirala's party Nepali Congress has blamed the CPN-M for creating the political impasse.

"The prime minister is ready to resign and make a way out for forming the new government. But we have to follow a constitutional process to do that," Nepali Congress spokesperson Arjun Narshing KC told Xinhua on Sunday.

"After we make amendment in the constitution, he'll resign immediately," the spokesperson said, "Instead of cultivating atmosphere for consensus, the CPN-M are forming alliance with left parties to share the post of Prime Minister and President so there is a deadlock."

The understanding between CPN-M and the Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist-Leninist) (CPN-UML) to support president for CPN-UML and Prime Minister for CPN-M has even raised question for the unity of the Interim Government's ruling Seven-Party Alliance in the new government.

But the left leaders say that the NC should not stay in opposition in the new government.

"We have promised the people to maintain unity in drafting the new constitution. No one from the ruling alliance should stay in opposition," CPN-UML leader Amrit Kumar Bohara told Xinhua on Sunday.

"We are trying to seek equitable power sharing for forming the new government so such circumstance won't come," he added.

The political parties have intensified their meetings and leaders have claimed that they are close to deal on other issues apart from power sharing.

"We are close to deal on issues of constitution amendment, management of CPN-M army and implementation of past agreements. However, it will still take some days to build consensus on power sharing and forming a new government," Nepali congress spokesperson KC told Xinhua. 

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