Sydney: Nepal’s political parties reached an agreement that will allow lawmakers to vote on forming a new government after more than two months of negotiations following the general election in April.
Leaders of the seven parties in the interim government agreed that the constitution will be amended to allow a majority of lawmakers to approve a new administration, Nepalnews.com reported on Wednesday.
The Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist), which has most seats in the assembly, will lead a coalition supported by the CPN (Unified Marxist-Lenin-ist), the third largest party. The Nepali Congress, the second largest party, will probably join the opposition after failing to forge a power-sharing agreement with the Maoists, it said.
The Maoists fought a 10-year insurgency to install a communist republic in the country, a conflict that ended with a 2006 accord allowing the rebel party to join the interim government to prepare for the April election. The new government will have to deal with food shortages and fuel price rises which sparked a nationwide transport strike this week.
The new parliament declared the Himalayan nation a republic at its first session on 28 May, ending King Gyanendra’s 240-year-old dynasty.
As many as 2.5 million people need food aid because of drought and rising prices, Richard Ragan, the United Nations World Food Programme’s country director, said in Kathmandu on Tuesday. Another 3.9 million people “are at risk of becoming food insecure,” the UN’s IRIN news agency cited him as saying.
Meanwhile, a two-day strike by transport operators ended on Wednesday when the interim government agreed to allow fares to rise by 28% to meet rising fuel costs, Nepalnews.com reported. Transport companies were demanding a 35% rise in fares because the government approved a 25% increase in the cost of petrol earlier this month.