Nepal PM impasse makes West restive

July 23rd, 2010 - 5:07 pm ICT by IANS  

By Sudeshna Sarkar
Kathmandu, July 23 (IANS) Growing restive at the protracted impasse over electing a new prime minister in Nepal, western governments have begun to show concern that it may affect the turbulent country’s fragile peace process.

On Friday, when Nepal’s parliament was scheduled to hold a fresh election to pick a new premier - the third in less than two years - but was yet to sit more than two hours after the appointed time, the British ambassador to Nepal, Sir Andrew Hall, met one of the prime ministerial candidates.

Hall held talks with former deputy prime minister Ram Chandra Poudel to convey concern at the delay in electing a new prime minister, saying it would affect the peace process and the drafting of a new constitution, that has to be promulgated by May 2011.

Poudel and Maoist supremo Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda are the two contenders for the election Friday after the communists withdrew their candidate after an election fiasco Wednesday.

Britain is a member of the European Union and its concerns are shared by the other member countries.

There has been no immediate reaction from Nepal’s two immediate neighbours, India and China.

India, criticised by the Maoists for allegedly interfering in Nepal’s internal matters and trying to garner support for Poudel, is watching the contest closely but has preferred to remain silent.

The Indian Embassy in Kathmandu in the past has said India would like to see a multi-party, democratic government in Nepal.

(Sudeshna Sarkar can be contacted at sudeshna.s@ians.in)

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