Saturday, July 03, 2010

Nepal: Calls for all sides to form consensus government after key resignation

nepal, mike hitchen onlineUN - Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called on Nepal’s political parties to step up their efforts to form a consensus government in the wake of this week’s resignation of Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal.

Mr. Nepal resigned on Wednesday amid reports of tensions with other political parties which have members serving in the Constituent Assembly, the 601-member body set up as an interim legislature in the South Asian country until a new, permanent constitution is developed.

The Constituent Assembly was elected in May 2008, two years after the Government and the Maoists signed a wide-ranging peace pact ending a decade-long civil war that claimed some 13,000 lives.

The deadline for drafting the new constitution – considered a key element of the peace process – was extended in May as the parties remained deadlocked on issues such as power-sharing arrangements and the reintegration of the Maoist ex-combatants.

In a statement issued by his spokesperson last night, Mr. Ban “encourages all parties in Nepal to intensify their efforts towards the formation of a consensus government that would prioritize the implementation of all peace process commitments.”

The statement added that the Secretary-General is also urging there be “speedy progress on the issue of the integration and rehabilitation of Maoist army personnel.”

The UN Mission in Nepal (UNMIN), established in 2007, has been assisting the country with the peace process. Its mandate, which runs until 15 September, includes monitoring the management of arms and armed personnel of both the Maoists and the Nepal Army, as well as in assisting in monitoring ceasefire arrangements.