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Four forces one on three-point package



KATHMANDU: A meeting of three major parties and United Madhesi Front today decided that they would settle the three contentious issues – process of amending the Interim Constitution to hold the fresh Constituent Assembly polls, poll date and formation of national consensus government — in a package.

Nepali Congress Vice-president Ramchandra Paudel disclosed this after the meeting held at the office of Special Committee in New Baneshwor. Top leaders of the four political forces will shoulder the responsibility of finding common ground among them. Their next meeting is slated for Sunday.

In the previous meeting on Wednesday, NC and CPN-UML had stressed to decide on government formation before dwelling on other issues, while UCPN-M and UDMF had pressed for package deal on all issues.

However, today UCPN-M Spokesperson Agni Sapkota said, “We don’t say the election government should be led by Baburam Bhattarai. A person, agreed upon by the major parties, should lead the next government.”

CPN-UML proposed that NC should lead the next national consensus government, according to UML leader Madhav Kumar Nepal. “As the major parties had already agreed to hand over the government leadership to NC, we formally proposed so today,” said Nepal. Top leaders of the four forces will discuss the proposal, he added.

He elaborated that the package deal will be a simultaneous agreement on government leadership, the process of amending the Interim Constitution and the election date. The UML also proposed to hold fresh CA polls between April 14 and May 14.

“The UML also proposed to hold local elections, along with the CA polls. However, the Unified CPN-Maoist and UDMF did not comment on our proposals,” said Nepal. NC, on the other hand, proposed a five-year term for the new body that will serve as CA for a year to promulgate new constitution after which it will automatically be transformed into Parliament with lower and upper houses, NC General Secretary Krishna Prasad Sitaula told THT.

Sadbhawana Party leader Rajendra Mahato, begged to differ. He said the new CA should not be transformed into Parliament automatically in a year without delivering the new constitution.

UCPN-M Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal, NC President Sushil Koirala and Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai were not present at the meeting. UCPN-M leaders Narayan Kaji Shrestha, Amik Sherchan and Agni Prasad Sapkota, NC’s Sher Bahadur Deuba, Paudel and Sitaula and UML’s Jhalanath Khanal, Nepal, KP Oli and Ishwor Pokharel attended the meeting.

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