As Nepal's main parties struggled to form a national unity government, President Ram Baran Yadav on Friday gave them another six days to strike a deal, the second such extension to the original November 29 deadline.
Yadav's move came a day after crucial talks between the ruling alliance comprising UCPN-Maoist and Joint Madhesi Front and opposition Nepali Congress (NC) and CPN-UML on naming a consensus Prime Ministerial candidate failed, despite being given an extra seven days to do so after they missed the original deadline.
"The President has extended the deadline for recommending the name of the consensus candidate of prime minister by another six days as per the request made by the major political parties," his office said in a statement.
It was the second time that the president had extended the deadline issued to political parties to form a national consensus government that would replace the incumbent government led by Premier Baburam Bhattarai of UCPN-Maoist.
Yadav last week extended the November 29 deadline till Thursday after the leaders of political parties said they needed some more time for reaching a consensus. However, despite hectic negotiation throughout the week the parties failed to choose a prime ministerial candidate.
The deadline was extended for the second time, shortly after a meeting between president Yadav and Maoist chief Prachanda on Friday morning. Earlier, NC had nominated its President Sushil Koirala as the candidate for prime minister after the UCPN-Maoist and the CPN-UML asked it to recommend its candidate.
However, after the NC presented Koirala as its candidate, the ruling alliance said it cannot hand over power to the main opposition party unless they reach consensus on sorting out differences regarding outstanding issues of the Constitution. Nepal plunged into a political and constitutional crisis after Bhattarai dissolved the Constituent Assembly without promulgating the Constitution as promised by him in May.
The crisis further deepened after the elections announced by Bhattarai could not be conducted on the stipulated date of November 22.