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Nepal's Maoists agree to join assembly, ends political crisis

Tuesday, 24 December 2013 - 6:41pm IST | Place: Kathmandu | Agency: PTI

Nepal's sulking Maoist party on Tuesday agreed to join the recently elected Constituent Assembly (CA), ending months of political turmoil to pave the way for a new government and drafting of a fresh Constitution.

The Nepali Congress, the Communist Party of Nepal-Unified Marxist Leninist (CPN-UML) and the United Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist (UCPN-M) agreed on a four-point accord.

The new agreement includes the formation of a parliamentary board to look into alleged poll rigging, a Truth and Reconciliation Commission to investigate atrocities committed by state forces and former rebels during the civil war, UCPN-M leader Narayan Kaji Shrestha said.

The agreement does not mention who will head the probe into the rigging allegations. The Maoists have been demanding that party chief Prachanda should be made the permanent head of the mechanism.

Meanwhile, CPN-UML leader Raghuji Pant said the deal will be finalised following discussion with the Madhes-based parties.

With this agreement in place, the parties are likely to request the Election Commission once again to extend the deadline to submit the final name lists of their candidates under the Proportional Representation category of the CA.

Prachanda-led Maoists, who were routed in November 19 polls, threw the country into fresh turmoil as they refused to join the CA, alleging fraud in the elections.

The formation of the new CA is vital to complete a peace process after a 10-year civil war which left an estimated 16,000 people dead.

The meeting called by NC President Sushil Koirala reached an agreement in principle to draft the new constitution within six months and promulgate it within a year.

The Maoists, who swept the country's first post-war elections in 2008, won just 80 out of 575 seats and came a distant third behind the Nepali Congress and CPN-UML.

The Maoists, who ended their decade-long "People's War" with a peace deal in 2006, led a series of coalition governments, but failed to write a constitution, forcing the collapse of the first constituent assembly in May 2012.

The Nepali Congress bagged 105 seats of the 240 directly elected seats in the polls but lacks a clear majority to form government on its own.

The CPN-UML was the second largest party with 91 seats followed by Prachanda's UCPN-Maoist, which grabbed 26 seats in the 601-member Constituent Assembly.

The NC has a total of 196 seats in the new CA while CPN-UML, emerged as the second largest party with 175 seats.

The NC has said it has the mandate to lead both the government and the constitution drafting process.


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