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Nepal’s political crisis sparks concern over peace

KATHMANDU, July 03, 2010-Nepal’s political leaders were locked in talks Friday to try to form a new government amid mounting international concern about the country’s faltering peace process.

Major disagreements have emerged between the three biggest political parties over who should succeed outgoing prime minister Madhav Kumar Nepal, who stepped down on Wednesday under intense pressure from the opposition Maoists.

The former rebels, who fought a 10-year civil war with the state before entering mainstream politics and winning elections in 2008, say that as the largest party in parliament they should lead a power-sharing government.

But just six days before a deadline to form a national consensus government expires, rival parties have ruled out joining any administration led by the Maoists.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon issued a statement urging the parties to “intensify their efforts towards the formation of a consensus government” and implement commitments made in the 2006 peace agreement.

Four years after the war ended, many parts of the peace deal have still not been fulfilled, notably the integration of thousands of Maoist former fighters into the national army.

The United States said it was “vitally important” to make progress in the peace process and called the prime minister’s resignation an opportunity to move the process forward and bring stability to Nepal.

Nepal’s President Ram Baran Yadav has given political leaders until July 7 to form a power-sharing government.

“We are trying to achieve consensus but it will take time,” said Rabindra Adhikari, a senior member of the Communist Party of Nepal (CPN-UML), which leads the outgoing government.

Source: APF

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