Nepal Prez asks political parties to form national govt

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Shirish B. Pradhan

Kathmandu, Jan 15 (PTI) President Ram Baran Yadavtoday asked the deadlocked political parties to form a newgovernment based on consensus, amid fears of chaos in Nepalfollowing the end of the UN peace mission.

Yadav, the first president of the Republic, called onthe political parties to elect a Prime Minister before January21 and form a new government on the basis of nationalconsensus, according to the President�s Office.

The President�s call comes after Nepali Congress, ,the second largest party, withdrew its sole Prime Ministerialcandidate R C Poudyal last week, paving the way for a freshprocess to elect a new leader.

Nepali Congress decided to aske Poudyal to quit therace amid intense pressure from its key coalition partnerCPN-UML, main opposition UCPN (Maoist) and from within theparty in a bid to build a consensus to end the deadlock thathas derailed the 2006 peace process.

The Parliament had rejected Poudyal in 16th rounds ofvoting since the resignation of Prime Minister Madhav KumarNepal.

As Nepal remained in a political deadlock, the UN''sblue flag was lowered at the Kathmandu office of the UNMIN,which was established by the world body as a special politicalmission in 2007 to manage the arms and armed personnel of theMaoists and the Nepal Army.

The UNMIN closure makes the fate of the 19,000 Maoistcombatants confined in the cantonments uncertain as there wasno clear roadmap regarding the future monitoring, integrationand rehabilitation of the former PLA combatants.

Issuing a message at the closure of the UN Mission inNepal, UN Secretary General Ban-ki Moon expressed regret overthe "insufficient progress made" made so far in the peaceprocess and encourages the parties "to redouble their effortsto build the confidence that can bring progress on all frontsof Nepal''s peace process."

UNMIN chief Karin Landgren said "there are, mostimmediately, outstanding issues in relation to the future ofthe arms and armies".

The waring political parties claimed to have reachedan agreement on monitoring of the former armed Maoist cadreslodged in special camps overseen by the UN mission.

Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal and UCPN-Maoistchairman Prachanda inked a three-point deal yesterday to forma six-member team to monitor the arms and armies of bothMaoist and the government.

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