KATHMANDU: The crucial special session of the interim Parliament began on Thursday afternoon as demanded by the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoists).

The session will decide on two major proposals of the Maoists, namely, declaration of republic by the interim Parliament and changing the electoral modality to a fully proportional system. Tabling the Maoists’ proposal, its spokesman Krishna Bahadur Mahara said, “We summoned the House session to form a new basis of unity among the seven-party alliance and to create an environment for meaningful Constituent Assembly elections.” Mr. Mahara said that the proposal for declaring a republic was tabled as the palace was trying to scuttle the poll. Lawmakers of the two major parties in the interim Parliament — the Nepali Congress and the Communist Party of Nepal (UML) — criticised the Maoists’ proposals and accused them of derailing the Constituency Assembly polls. They also argued that by postponing the poll, the Maoists have prolonged the monarchy’s life. The House will vote on the Maoists’ proposal on October 16. However, there are attempts to reach a consensus among the seven parties before the voting date since going for the vote would further polarise the parties and weaken the fragile seven-party alliance.