Nepal parties reach four-point agreement

Kathmandu, Dec 24 : Three major political parties of Nepal Tuesday clinched a four-point accord on peace and the constitution drafting process, paving the way for the already delayed government formation.

The Nepali Congress, the Communist Party of Nepal-Unified Marxist Leninist (CPN-UML) and the Prachanda-led United Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist (UCPN-M) also called a meeting of the Constituent Assembly.

Following the agreement, the Maoists will join the Constituent Assembly (CA) process and will lend support to the constitution drafting process.

The four-point understanding includes formation of a high level political mechanism, forming a parliamentary board to look into the alleged rigging during the Nov 19 Constituent Assembly polls as alleged by the Maoists and setting up two separate commissions - Truth and Reconciliation Commission and Disappearance Commission - and promulgation of the new constitution within a year.

The major political parties were haggling over these issues following the elections and were not able to reconcile them inspite of daily meetings.

Nepal held its first Constituent Assembly elections in 2008 but the assembly was dissolved in 2012 without delivering the new constitution.

After failing to unveil the statute, the parties had decided to go in for fresh polls to draft the new constitution along with completing the remaining tasks of the ongoing peace process.

According to CPN-UML leader Raguji Panta, the parties have now agreed to set up a committee inside the assembly to sort out contentious issues.

"The accord has paved the way for us to join the assembly where most of our demands would be addressed and it has also prepared the ground for us to lend support in the constitution drafting process though we may not join the new government," senior Maoist leader Narayan Kaji Shrestha told IANS.

The Nepali Congress, the single largest party in the new house, formally decided to take leadership in government-formation Monday.

The proposed Disappearance Commission will look into the issue of the people who disappeared during the decade-long insurgency in the Himalayan nation.

Likewise, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission will dig into the causes of the conflict which led to the death of around 13,000 people in the country.

The commission will also start the reconciliation process to ensure that such conflicts do not occur again.

--IANS (Posted on 24-12-2013)

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