-  Monday 10 August 2020

Nepal crisis parliament session postponed for festival

 -  AFP

Oct 18 2007 - A parliamentary debate aimed at resolving the deadlock in Nepal's peace process has been postponed by at least 10 days for the country's most important festival, officials said.

The special session had been called after the country's ex-rebel Maoists stormed out of government last month, demanding an immediate abolition of the monarchy and a new voting system.

The crisis has led to the cancellation of elections on a future political system that were to have been held on November 22.

"The top leaders have agreed to postpone the special session of parliament for at least 10 days for the Dasain festival," Ram Chandra Poudel, minister for peace and reconstruction, told AFP.

The country's largest party, the Nepali Congress, opposes the Maoist demands for an immediate republic and a changed polling system, and days of negotiations have failed to reach a compromise.

"There is complete deadlock as the Nepali Congress party is against our demands," Maoist spokesman Krishna Bahadur Mahara told AFP.

Diplomats have warned that the continued wrangling threatens last year's peace deal, which ended the Maoists' deadly decade-long insurgency.

When they signed up for peace last November, the Maoists agreed that the future of Nepal's embattled King Gyanendra should be decided after elections to a body to rewrite the constitution.

Their stance on the monarchy and demand for a fully proportional voting system meant that the November polls -- a central plank of the peace deal -- were cancelled earlier this month.

The ex-rebels are shying away from polls because their continued strong-arm tactics have lost them large amounts of electoral support, analysts have said.

Source : AFP

Other articles by reporter AFP

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