Nepal sets up top panel to amend rules for PM election

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Shirish B. Pradhan

Kathmandu, Jan 13 (PTI) Nepal today set up a top panelto amend the rules for the election of a prime minister,following the withdrawal of sole Nepali Congress candidate R CPoudyal from the deadlocked race.

A meeting of the Business Advisory Committee of theParliament formed a five-member panel to propose amendment tothe parliamentary regulations for a meaningful election of aprime minister.

The Parliament has failed to elect a new PrimeMinister even after 16th round of election under the existingregulations.

Nepali Congress yesterday withdrew Poudyal ahead ofthe 17th run-off poll, amid intense pressure from its alliesand the main Opposition in a bid to end the over six monthslong deadlock in Nepal.

The panel has been tasked to amend the existingprovisions so that the Prime Ministerial election would bemeaningful and to clarify various matters relating to theelection procedure, said panel member Gayatri Shah of theNepal Janata Dal.

The lawmakers felt the need to amend the existingregulations so that the futile election would not be repeatedin future again, she said.

The panel members representing the main parties - EkRaj Bhandari of the main opposition UCPN (Maoist), RadheshyamAdhikari of Nepali Congress (NC), Agni Kharel of the CPN-UML,Anil Kumar Jha of Sadbhavana Party and Shah of Nepal JanataDal - have been asked to table their report in the nextsession of parliament scheduled for January 17.

Nepali Congress, the second largest party, formallydecided to withdraw Poudyal amid intense pressure from its keycoalition partner CPN-UML, main opposition UCPN (Maoist) andfrom within the party in a bid to build a consensus to end thedeadlock that has derailed the 2006 peace process.

The deadlock in Nepal''s peace process has sparkedconcern among the international community as the UnitedNations Mission in Nepal (UNMIN), which has been tasked tomonitor the peace process since 2007, prepares to wrap up itsmission on January 15.

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