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CPN-UML joins Nepali Congress-led government in Nepal

Posted on Feb 09 2014 | IANS

Kathmandu, Feb 9 : A day before Nepal elects its new prime minister, the Communist Party of Nepal-Unified Marxist-Leninist (CPN-UML) Sunday decided to join a coalition led by the Nepali Congress.

A six-point deal was signed between both the parties Sunday afternoon.

According to sources, the two sides agreed to institutionalise the achievements made since 2005 when the then political parties and the Maoists signed a 12-point agreement in New Delhi to remove Nepal's century-old monarchy rule.

India facilitated the 12-point deal, which paved the way for the Maoists to join the political mainstream.

The two parties also agreed to take ownership of the past agreements and accords reached in the 2008 Constituent Assembly. The assembly, however, failed to draft a new constitution and was dissolved in 2012.

A new constituent assembly was formed after elections last year, and will endorse the term and tenure of the incumbent President Ram Baran Yadav and Vice President Parmananda Jha for one year, the parties agreed.

The president and vice president were elected in 2008 by the assembly. The CPN-UML was vying for the presidential post during the power-sharing negotiations with the Nepali Congress.

According to the agreement, election for the posts of president, vice-president and speaker of the house will be conducted within a year.

The Nepali Congress will come up with a common minimum programme of the new government.

Earlier in the day, the Nepali Congress invited the CPN-UML to join the government and proposed to hold elections to the posts of president and vice-president after promulgation of a new constitution within a year.

It was mandatory for both the parties to reach an understanding by Sunday as the parliament secretariat has set Monday as the deadline for filing nominations for the prime ministerial election.

CPN-UML chairman Jhalanath Khanal said: "We have decided to extend our support to the Nepali Congress-led government."

Nepali Congress president Sushil Koirala is widely seen as a favourite to be the country's next prime minister.

The CPN-UML has 175 votes in the 575-seat house while the Nepali Congress has 194 votes. The Nepali Congress is likely to get additional support from some fringe parties during Monday's prime ministerial poll.

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