Political parties to set fresh date for Nepal polls

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Kathmandu, Dec 14: Majority of the parties in the ruling Seven Party Alliance (SPA) in Nepal have reached an understanding to set a fresh date for Constituent Assembly elections and declaring the Himalayan nation a republic.

Nepali Congress, CPN (UML) and CPN (Maoist) leaders have agreed to incorporate a term in the interim Constitution to reflect the spirit of ''Loktantrik Republic'' and increase the proportional representation seats, as points of consensus, Kantipur quoted CPN-UML leader Jhala Nath Khanal as saying after a meeting of the alliance.

''The parties have agreed to go for full-fledged implementation of a republic only after the first meeting of the Constituent Assembly,'' he said.

The Prime Minister will be the head of state until the CA's first meet, he said.

''Possibly it will be 55:45 as the communist partners are ready for a 60:40 ratio,'' said a participant. The parties have agreed to guarantee all unrepresented groups at least one seat by increasing the seats under the proportional representation system. ''No difference persists on the major issues but a final agreement will be reached only after discussion with all allies in the coalition at Friday's SPA meet,'' Home Minister Krishna Prasad Sitaula was quoted by the paper as saying.

The Maoists were demanding that the country be declared a republic abolishing the monarchy, calling it the ''source of conspiracy'' that would hinder the democratisation and peace process in the Himalayan nation.


UNI

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