Nepalese parties fail to reach consensus on new constitution

Nepal Map
Kathmandu, May 25: Political crisis in Nepal deepened on Saturday as negotiations among the four major political parties failed to make any headway in drafting a new constitution ahead of the May 27 deadline. The seven-hour long marathon talks held at the Defence Ministry office ended without any fruitful results as both the Maoists-Madhesi alliance and the Nepali Congress-CPN (UML) alliance stuck to their respective positions on state restructuring models, according to party sources.

The parties are polarised on the key contentious issue of federating the country in the new constitution. The UCPN (Maoist), with the backing of the Joint Madhesi Front, has proposed 10 federal states with single ethnic identity under the state restructuring while the Nepali Congress backed by the CPN-UML have floated the idea of eight federal states on the basis of multi-ethnic and multi-cultural principles, according to Sunil Manandhar, general secretary of ruling CPN-United.

The Maoists and the five party alliance of the Madhesi Front were in favour of two federal states in the Terai or southern plains and eight federal states in the hilly region while the Nepali Congress-UML alliance have proposed three federal states under the southern plains and five under the hilly region. The parties have also held several rounds of bilateral and trilateral talks since morning in an attempt to forge consensus on key issues of constitution drafting.


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