Prachanda-UML meet ends on positive note

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Kathmandu, May 21: Amid the political impasse that haunts government formation in the Himalayan nation CPN (Maoist) Chairman Prachanda held talks with CPN-UML leaders on the issue of proclamation of republic in the first Constituent Assembly meeting scheduled for May 28. ''The meeting ended on a very positive note on the current issues of the first CA meeting and the implementation of a republic,'' Mr Prachanda said.

However, the Maoist supremo informed that detailed discussions on the issue of power-sharing have not taken place but added that the issue will be finalised in the next few days. Maoists claim over both the positions of Prime Minister and President is also an important factor that is delaying the formation of coalition government.

''Discussions were also held on a possible amendment to the interim constitution and the way forward for power-sharing between the parties in the current changing political context,'' Mr Prachanda informed after engaging UML leaders in their office at Balkhu here.

''Moreover, the recent murder of businessman Ram Hari Shrestha and its impact on the historic first CA sitting to be held from May 28 was also discussed and an agreement was reached to form a high-level investigation committee by the government to investigate the case to punish the guilty,'' he was quoted as saying by Kantipur.

Likewise, newly appointed CPN-UML General Secretary Jhal Nath Khanal said that the meeting presented a way forward for gradual consensus among the two major leftist parties.

UML once again reiterated its demand of disbanding the Maoist youth wing, the Young Communist League (YCL) and its army, the PLA and check their unlawful activities of intimidation, murder and threat. The abduction and murder of Maoist sympathiser businessman Shresta has led to huge uproar in the country with continued agitation.

Normal life was paralysed here today due to a protest against the killing of a businessman named Ram Hari Shrestha with educational institutions, market remaining closed here in Kathmandu valley.

The Nepali Congress (NC) and CPN-UML have desisted from alligning with the Maoists over their alleged violent style of political activity.

UNI

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