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Extending extensions

Wednesday, April 25th, 2012
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The major parties have asked for two more days to gather consensus on the remaining issues. The constitutional committee has already given the parties two extensions since last week but on both occasions, the parties failed to reach an agreement. However, the parties have narrowed down their differences from five issues to three after agreement was reached on constitutional court and citizenship.

The three major parties and Madhesi front have been meeting for the past three days and Wednesday’s meeting has been postponed due to UML leaders who were busy attending the memorial function of their late leader and former Prime Minister Manmohan Adhikari. Meanwhile, the joint meeting of the NC central committee and parliamentary committee which convened on Wednesday morning has directed the leaders to stay firm on parliamentary system and not to give in to the Maoist’s proposal for a directly elected president. CPN-UML has already rejected Maoist proposal and asked NC to do the same.

The top leaders have been claiming that they are close to reaching consensus on all issues, but opposing public statements by leaders of their own parties and protests by indigenous groups who have taken to streets do little to assure people that the nation will get a new constitution by 27 May.

The parties are scheduled to meet again on Wednesday evening and NC is expected to clarify its stance on the issue of directly elected president in line with party’s decision which will further complicate the matter. The parties are undecided about the type of federalism mainly because of opposition from a sizable number of ethnic and Madhesi lawmakers.

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