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Nepal holds ‘secret’ meeting with Prachanda to end standoff

Nepal Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal. File Photo: AP  

Nepal’s embattled Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal and Maoists supremo Prachanda held a “secret” meeting on Wednesday in a bid to end a political standoff as the “concerned” international community pressed them to find a way out of the deepening crisis.

Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal and UCPN (Maoist) Chairman Prachanda held a “secret” meeting on Wednersday afternoon in a bid to forge an agreement to extend the Constituent Assembly (CA) term which expires on May 28.

The meeting at CPN-UML leader Krishna Lal Maharjan’s residence in the capital’s Lalitpur area lasted for about an hour and centred on forging consensus at the high-level meeting of the major three parties scheduled for today, Bishnu Rijal, the Prime Minister’s press advisor, was quoted as saying by the Kantipur online.

Meanwhile, the meeting of the Assembly to vote on the eighth constitution amendment bill to pave the way for extension of the term of the House was put off till Friday.

The parliament’s secretariat said it will now meet on Friday. The House sittings on Monday and Tuesday had also been cancelled.

Leaders of the three major political parties -- the main Opposition CPN-Maoist, the Nepali Congress and the prime minister’s Communist Party of Nepal (United Marxist Leninist) -- met on Wednesday but failed to reach an agreement to end the standoff.

Nepal’s ruling coalition last week introduced a bill in the 601-Assembly to extend the term of the House for one year so that it can finish the task of framing a new constitution.

CPN-Maoist party, with nearly 35 percent of the parliamentary seats, have refused to cooperate in extending the Assembly till the Prime Minister steps down.

Without the Maoists support, the ruling coalition would be unable to garner the two-thirds parliamentary vote required to get the proposal approved by the House.

A high-level meeting of the three parties is expected to be held today.

The meeting of the top leaders of UCPN-Maoist, Nepali Congress and CPN-UML in the presence of the Prime Minister has been postponed until 5:00 pm for necessary homework, Maoist leader Narayan Kaji Shrestha said.

“PM Nepal wants to hold separate meetings with the parties,” he was quoted as saying by Himalayan Times online.

Concerned over a possible constitutional crisis in Nepal, the UN has appealed to the Maoists chief to take immediate steps to extend the tenure of the Assembly, which expires on Friday.


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Printable version | Oct 20, 2021 11:19:48 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/Nepal-holds-lsquosecretrsquo-meeting-with-Prachanda-to-end-standoff/article16303597.ece

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