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Nepal Prez sets another deadline, but no sign of consensus

Kathmandu: Nepal seems to be trapped in a never-ending loop of deadlines and extensions over the formation of a consensus government as warring politicians refuse to set aside their differences despite several rounds of extended talks.

President Ram Baran Yadav on Monday extended for a sixth time a deadline to nominate a prime ministerial candidate by six more days, before his departure to India for a state visit. Yadav, who will be in India for the next six days, has asked Nepal's warring political factions to try to hammer out a solution to end the country's political crisis.

President Yadav has extended the deadline to nominate the name of the prime minister to lead a national consensus government till December 29 prior to his departure to India, according to a statement issued by the president's office.

Yadav left Kathmandu this afternoon accompanied by a team of 20 people including his daughter Anu Yadav, according to sources at the president's office.

During his visit, Yadav will meet Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and other top officials.

He is visiting at the invitation of Benaras Hindu University, where he will be conferred with the 'Doctorate of Letters' title in the presence of his Indian counterpart Pranab Mukherjee and University Chancellor Karan Singh.

Earlier in the day, Yadav had summoned the leaders of major political parties representing the dissolved Constituent Assembly to his official residence and urged them to be serious towards ending the current political impasse and form anational consensus government at the earliest.

Those who met the president at the Rastrapati Bhawan included Maoist chief Prachanda, Nepali Congress president Sushil Koirala and CPN-UML chairman Jhalanath Khanal.

The president had for the first time issued a deadline to the parties to name a consensus prime ministerial candidate on November 23 and this is a sixth extension to that deadline.

Nepal has been in the midst of a political and constitutional crisis since May 27, when the Constituent Assembly was dissolved by Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai without the promulgation of a Constitution.

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