UN chief concerned about political stalemate in Nepal

14:41, May 28, 2010      

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United Nations Secretary- General Ban Ki-moon on Thursday expressed concern that due to political differences, the parties in Nepal have yet to reach an agreement to extend the term of the Constituent Assembly (CA) past the May 28 deadline for completing its work, according to a statement attributable to the UN spokesperson's office.

The mandate of the 601-member CA, elected two years back, is more likely to become defunct if its term is not extended. Tensions have risen recently amid an ongoing political stalemate over key issues such as power-sharing arrangements and the reintegration of former Maoist combatants.

The secretary-general urgently called on the party leaders to regain their "unity of purpose" to preserve the CA and the peace process.

"Now is the time to put national interests first," said the statement, adding that the CA and its progress to date toward the adoption of Nepal's new constitution represent "a significant and hard-won achievement of the peace process."

Earlier this month, Ban's representative in Nepal, Karin Landgren, told the UN Security Council that the peace process is at a "delicate and critical moment," as negotiators work to resolve the current stand-off, and warned of the risks if a solution is not found soon.

The ruling Nepali Congress (NC) and the Communist Party Nepal- Unified Marxist Leninist (CPN-UML) and the main opposition Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) (UCPN-M) have failed to make headway on two key issues: the UCPN-M demand for formation of a national unity government and the ruling parties' demand for fixing the number of UCPN-M combatants to be integrated.

Source: Xinhua


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