Nepal coalition allies threaten pullout over House term extension

The coalition government led by Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai appeared to be heading for a crisis over its decision to have the tenure of the Constituent Assembly extended by three months beyond the May 27 deadline.

While President Ram Baran Yadav began consulting legal experts — most of them saying the government's action amounted to undermining the Supreme Court's order — two major national parties, the Nepali Congress and the Communist Party of Nepal-Unified Marxist Leninist (CPN-UML), threatened to withdraw from the government if it went ahead with its plan.

A division of opinion could be seen in the Nepali Congress where members expressed anger with party General Secretary and Deputy Prime Minister K P Sitaula for having approved the extension.

Fissures in the Nepali Congress became more pronounced after Radheshyam Adhikary a CA member quit the House membership. "I do not see any point being a member of the House that is not going to deliver the constitution within the promised date. Besides, I don't want to be a party to committing contempt of the Supreme Court," Adhikary said.

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