Nepal heading for national consensus govt

Kathmandu: A national consensus government appeared to be in offing in Nepal to resolve the current political crisis as the May 27 deadline to draft country`s new constitution draws near.

Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai is likely to tender his resignation this afternoon after holding an emergency cabinet meeting, highly placed sources told PTI. He is expected to form a national government comprising all major political parties including the main opposition Nepali Congress and CPN-UML, sources said.

The Maoists and the Joint Democratic Madhesi Front form the current coalition partners.
However, Prime Minister Bhattarai is likely to retain his position as the head of the government even after the formation of the national government. "We are holding discussion on ways to forming a national consensus government," said top CPN-UML leader and former Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal.

An understanding was reached last night among the UCPN- Maoist, Nepali Congress, CPN-UML and the Joint Democratic Madhesi Front, a grouping of five Madhesi parties, to form a national government that would pave way for concluding the peace process and drafting the constitution within the stipulated time frame.

Nepali Congress may join a government led by the Maoists if they agree to support formation of a NC-led government for promulgation of the constitution before May 27, Nepali Congress Vice-president Ramchandra Poudyal said.

The political parties are busy holding serious consultations to sort out contentious issues for drafting the constitution and forming the national consensus government to expedite the peace process and promulgate the constitution. The major political parties are yet to reach an agreement on the forms of governance and federal structure to be incorporated in the new constitution.