5-party meeting summoned by Nepal PM Deuba inconclusive

Nepal's Maoist chief Prachanda set to become prime minister
Chairman of the Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) Pushpa Kamal Dahal, also known as Prachanda, addresses the mass demonstration organized by the opposition alliance led by the party Reuters

A meeting of five major political parties called by Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba to resolve the impasse regarding elections for the formation of the National Assembly ended inconclusively on Friday.

Dueba had called the meeting of the Nepali Congress, CPN-UML, CPN (Maoist Centre), Rastriya Janata Party-Nepal (RJP-N) and Sanghiya Samajwadi Forum Nepal (SSFN) at his official residence in Baluwatar in the morning.

The meeting slated to hold discussions on various matters, including the ordinance related to the National Assembly elections, could not reach a solid conclusion since the parties remained firm on their respective contradictory stands, the Kathmandu Post reported.

Present in the meeting were CPN-UML Chairman K.P. Sharma Oli, CPN MC Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal 'Prachanda', Presidium Coordinator of the RJP-N Mahantha Thakur and FSF-N Chairman Upendra Yadav, among other leaders.

The ordinance regarding the formation of the National Assembly that was sent to the President's office for authentication was on hold following a dispute among the parties.

Oli expressed serious reservations over the National Assembly ordinance, stating that the Single Transferable Vote System was "unconstitutional", hence making way for consensus difficult.

However, NC leaders defended the constitutional character of the ordinance and the party will work on its progression, said party leader Bimalendra Nidhi.

RJP-N leader Manahta Thakur and SSFN Chairman Upendra Yadav had also agreed on the ordinance sent by the government.

Meanwhile, Prachanda said that the National Assembly elections will not deter the formation of the new government under the leftist alliance. He said the government formation process would move ahead only after the Election Commission submits its results of the House of Representatives election.

"In general, National Assembly and House of Representatives are different. NA election won't affect the formation of the government," he said.

"Regarding the formation of the NA, earlier Constitution had clearly mentioned the Single Transferable Voting system, however, this Constitution has mentioned the NA but it has not clarified its formation procedure," he stressed.

"As per international practice the National Assembly is formed in more inclusive proportional representation. In this regard, we will hold discussion within the leftist parties," Prachanda said.

Speaking on a different note, he said that an agreement was forged between the UML and Maoist Centre in leading the government turn by turn.

He said he was "positive" despite the five-party meeting failing to pave the way for the formation of the National Assembly.