Nepalese president formally asks Maoists to form government
( dpa ) - Nepalese President Ram Baran Yadav has asked the Maoists, as the biggest party in the constituent assembly, to form the new government, official reports said Wednesday.
A statement issued by the president's office asked the Maoists to forge a political consensus for formation of the government and appointment of a prime minister, the official Rastriya Samachar Samiti news agency said.
Although the Maoists had initially claimed they should form the next government since April assembly elections established them as the biggest party, albeit not one with a majority, the defeat of their presidential candidate changed their stance with the party then saying it would rather sit in the opposition.
But earlier this week, the Maoists made a turnaround and said the party could still form the government if it could muster the support of political parties to get a majority in the assembly.
The Maoists, who have 220 seats in the 601-member assembly, have been given seven days to come up with a proposal on the formation of the government and muster the support of other political parties.
Yadav , a member of the Nepali Congress party, was elected president this month in a runoff vote in the constituent assembly, which is charged with drafting a new constitution.
Nepal has been run by a caretaker government since April's elections, and Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala , also of the Nepali Congress, is leading the government in a caretaker capacity after his resignation earlier this month.
The Maoists are poised to take power after they fought a decade-long insurgency to convert Nepal into a communist republic. They renounced violence when they signed a peace deal with the government in November 2006.
Nearly 14,000 people, the majority of them Maoist guerrillas and sympathizers, died in the conflict.