Nepal's major political parties 'agree' to form next government through elections
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In a major breakthrough, major political parties in Nepal are close to reaching a deal for fresh elections monitored by the Chief justice to form the next government in a bid to end months of constitutional crisis. If the deal is approved, fresh elections for a new legislature will be held by mid-June and will end a months-long political impasse in the country, a top political aide for the country's caretaker prime minister has said.
Devendra Poudel, chief political adviser for Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai, said that 80 percent work on the new agreement was done. According to the Wall Street Journal, he added that on the basis of the full agreement, a new political arrangement will be arrived at latest by tomorrow. Poudel said that principally, the political parties have agreed on the deal but deliberations are continuing on a few points. He said that the agreement, if confirmed, will lead to a formation of an 'election council', headed by the chief justice of country's Supreme Court, and will be tasked with holding elections for a new legislature by June 14, the report said. According to the report, the election council will function as an interim government until elections are held and a new government under political parties is formed. Poudel added that the elected new legislature will also function as a Constituent Assembly that will write county's new constitution. Nepal has been effectively without a Parliament and a fully-functional government since May last year when Bhattarai dissolved country's four-year-old Constituent Assembly, which also functioned as Parliament, after political parties repeatedly failed to agree on what kind of federal structure Nepal should adopt in the new constitution, the report said. At the time, Bhattarai, a Maoist party ideologue, announced new elections for November under his caretaker government, but the elections didn''t take place after the opposition questioned the legality of the prime minister''s decision to dissolve the Constituent Assembly, it added. During the months since May, as the country reeled under a constitutional crisis, political parties in Nepal at times toyed with the idea of reviving the dissolved assembly and some time considered holding new elections under a government led by a party other than the Maoists, the report said. According to the report, but the political leaders failed to strike any agreement mainly because of their keenness to get the country's premiership rather than steering the nation into an era of political stability. Leaders of Nepal's main political parties met on Tuesday morning in Kathmandu to finalize the deal that they have been working on since last week, the report said. The proposed move to hold elections under an election council headed by the chief justice showed the lack of trust among the leaders of the political parties in an election-time government led by one of them, it added.