“United we stand”

Southasia - - Briefing - KASHMIR

Nepal’s newly-elected Prime Min­is­ter Jha­lanath Khanal has as­sured his nation that lawmakers will be able to meet a May-end dead­line to draft a new con­sti­tu­tion and con­clude the land­mark 2006 peace process in the coun­try.

“There is no prob­lem for peace and con­sti­tu­tion draft­ing if the ma­jor po­lit­i­cal par­ties keep the coun­try and its peo­ple as the fo­cal point,” said Khanal.

The 601-mem­ber Con­sti­tu­tion Assem­bly, which func­tions as the coun­try’s par­lia­ment, last year set May 28 as the dead­line to pro­mul­gate the new con­sti­tu­tion fol­low­ing an agree­ment be­tween the po­lit­i­cal par­ties.

Speak­ing to the me­dia last month, the Premier said it is pos­si­ble to ac­com­plish the task within the stip­u­lated time frame as the po­lit­i­cal par­ties have al­ready fi­nal­ized some of the con­tentious is­sues while oth­ers are un­der dis­cus­sion.

Khanal, who was elected Prime Min­is­ter in Fe­bru­ary this year af­ter 17 at­tempts, asked the po­lit­i­cal par­ties to come to­gether to end the tran­si­tion pe­riod. Mean­while, Par­lia­ment Speaker Sub­ash Chan­dra Nem­bang has also un­der­lined the need for po­lit­i­cal unity for an early con­clu­sion of the peace process.

Po­lit­i­cal par­ties in the coun­try are dead­locked over some of the key is­sues, in­clud­ing the fate of the for­mer Maoist com­bat­ants, amid de­mands by the exrebels for their en masse in­te­gra­tion with the se­cu­rity forces of Nepal.

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