Cri­sis Mode

Southasia - - Briefing -

Nepal has slipped fur­ther into a deep­en­ing po­lit­i­cal cri­sis af­ter law­mak­ers were un­able to reach a con­sen­sus on draw­ing a new con­sti­tu­tion be­fore the dead­line, ex­pir­ing on May 27, thus leav­ing the coun­try with no le­gal gov­ern­ment. Though the Prime Min­is­ter has called for fresh elec­tions on Novem­ber 22, many have con­tested his le­git­i­macy. Claim­ing that Nepal has no other op­tion, Prime Min­is­ter Bhat­tarai has stated that he will lead an in­terim gov­ern­ment un­til the Novem­ber elec­tions.

Most po­lit­i­cal par­ties in Nepal are strictly di­vided and the coun­try has been put on high alert to brace for street protests and ri­ots, de­mand­ing the res­ig­na­tion of the “Prime Min­is­ter.” The dead­line for fi­nal­iz­ing a con- sti­tu­tion has been de­layed four times but the Supreme Court re­jected any fur­ther ex­ten­sions. Many an­a­lysts felt that all Nepalese po­lit­i­cal par­ties were fi­nally inch­ing closer to draw­ing a con­clu­sion. How­ever, the Con­stituent Assem­bly was un­able to reach an agree­ment and was promptly dis­solved as po­lit­i­cal par­ties were un­able to agree on the is­sue of whether states should be di­vided along eth­nic lines.

Three po­lit­i­cal par­ties have al­ready re­signed from the Maoist-led coalition with more ex­pected to aban­don the rul­ing party, over the next few weeks.

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