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Nepali leaders agree to hold CA election by mid-April 2008
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11:11, December 16, 2007

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Top leaders of the Nepali political parties agreed on Saturday to hold the constituent assembly (CA) elections by mid-April, 2008.

At the cabinet meeting held in the Nepali capital Kathmandu on Saturday, the leaders also approved to prepare a bill to amend the interim constitution.

The agreement was reached following a hectic meeting of the task force comprising top leaders of the seven party alliance (SPA)Saturday evening.

The leaders also reached consensus regarding the voting system to be adopted during the CA election and the issue of republic.

At Saturday's meeting, the taskforce reached an agreement to increase the seats for CA elections through proportional representation system by 335, making the total number of seats at 601. The number of seats elected under first-past-the-pole will be 240 while the number of CA members to be nominated by the prime minister has been increased to 26 from 17.

Earlier, the interim constitution stipulated a 497-member constituent assembly.

The parties have also agreed to amend the interim constitution, incorporating "democratic republic", a provision to be endorsed by the first sitting of the CA.

The taskforce comprising leader of the Communist Party of Nepal(Maoist) Dr. Babu Ram Bhattarai, CPN-UML leader Bharat Mohan Adhikari, Nepali Congress leader Bimalendra Nidhi, C.P. Mainali of Left Front and Lila Mani Adhikari of the People's Front was under pressure to reach an agreement by Saturday afternoon in order to amend the interim constitution which expires on Dec. 15.

Source: Xinhua

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