Kathmandu, Dec 13: As Nepal's warring parties scrambled to form a national unity government, President Ram Baran Yadav today gave five more days to them to strike a deal, the third such extension to the original November 29 deadline.
The President announced the extension of the deadline this morning when top leaders of three major political parties and the Joint Madhesi Front (JMF) called on him and held consultations at Rashtrapati Bhawan, a source at Yadav's office said.
UCPN (Maoist) Chairman Prachanda, whose party is currently heading the caretaker government, and main opposition Nepali Congress President Sushil Koirala, CPN-UML Chairman Jhala Nath Khanal and Deputy Prime Minister Bijaya Kumar Gachhadar of the Joint Madeshi Front were present in the meeting.
During the meeting, the President urged the leaders to come up with a consensus candidate for Prime Minister to head the national unity government within the now extended deadline.
Nepal has been facing a political crisis since May as the Constituent Assembly was dissolved without drafting a Constitution and the fresh election could not be held as promised by Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai by November 22.
Prachanda went to the Rashtrapati Bhawan yesterday also and requested the President to extend the deadline again, assuring that the parties had inched closer to consensus for forming a national government.