After quake, Nepal parties mull national government

Written by: IANS
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Kathmandu, May 9: To overcome the national crisis caused by the destructive earthquake of April 25, Nepal's major political parties are now opting for a national government and began fresh deliberations on Saturday.

This comes following the realisation that a concerted effort by key political actors will help to better overcome the disaster and complete the remaining tasks of constitution writing.


The constitution-making process has proved to be a tall order for Nepal's ruling and opposition parties for the last eight years, but the April 25 earthquake has brought the divided political parties together and that is likely to pave the way for a national government.

Nearly 8,000 people were killed and around 18,000 injured in the quake, which also damaged hundreds of thousands of private and government buildings, schools, health centres and other structures for the rebuilding of which Nepal will need billions of dollars.

Four former prime ministers of Nepal, who spoke on Saturday in Nepal's Parliament, underscored the need for a national government to cope with the challenges posed by the earthquake.

Former prime ministers Sher Bahadur Deuba from Nepali Congress, Jhalanath Khanal and Madhav Kumar Nepal from CPN-UML and Baburam Bhattarai of UCPN-Maoist urged all the political parties to come together for reconstruction and rehabilitation work, the long pending constitution writing process and holding local elections after one-and-a-half decades

"Let's give the leadership to an able one and let's give a visionary leadership," said Bhattarai, who is also a senior Maoist leader.

Khanal underscored the need to form a national coalition government to effectively overcome the large-scale disaster that has hit the country.

Khanal urged the leaders of all political parties to move forward in unison to address the aftermath of the quake, including the distribution of relief material to the victims considering the diverse geographical landscape of the country and its urgency. Both Nepal and Deuba also echoed the statements made by Khanal and Bhattarai.

In recent days, top leaders of the three major parties have tried to send out a positive message to the public that they are united to rehabilitate the earthquake victims. They have visited the quake-hit areas together in a show of solidarity.


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