Nepal's legislature-Parliament amended the interim constitution to extend the term of the Constituent Assembly by three more months late on Monday night. The CA's term, which would have ended on August 31, will now expire on November 30.
In its first decision, the new government led by Prime Minister Dr. Baburam Bhattarai decided to bring in a proposal for constitutional amendment to enable term extension. All parties supported the proposal. This is the third extension of the CA, whose original two-year term ended on May 28, 2010.
Meanwhile, Dr. Bhattarai visited Nepali Congress president Sushil Koirala's residence on Tuesday morning, and requested NC to join the government. He is understood to have assured the NC about his party's commitment to implementing past agreements. The NC rejected the offer, and said it would stay out. Mr. Koirala told reporters, “The Maoists should honestly conclude the peace process. We will play the role of the constructive opposition.” A meeting of NC office bearers has also criticised the four-point agreement signed between the Maoists and the Madhesi parties before the prime ministerial election for being unclear and against the spirit of the interim constitution.
While the Prime Minister had appointed leader of the Madhesi Janaadhikar Forum (Democratic) Bijay Gachhedar as the Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister on Monday, the rest of the Cabinet has not taken shape yet.
There are disputes within the Maoists as well as the Madhesi parties with multiple ministerial aspirants competing for limited number of portfolios. A standing committee meeting of the Maoists has now delegated the decision to nominate Ministers from the party to chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda', Mr. Bhattarai and senior vice-chairman Mohan Vaidya ‘Kiran'.