KATHMANDU, Jan 15: President Ram Baran Yadav has summoned leaders from 19 political parties to attend a meeting called at his office for Tuesday with a view to seek their suggestions on ending the political deadlock.
The president has called a meeting yet again as the political parties have failed to come up with a consensus prime ministerial candidate to head the election government even as the ninth deadline issued by him expired on Monday without any progress being made.
"The president has called leaders from 19 political parties that were represented in the dissolved Constituent Assembly to consult them about the way ahead," the president´s press advisor, Rajendra Dahal, told Republica.
Dr Yadav had in November issued the first deadline in writing and he repeatedly extended the deadline while the political parties hardened their stance. Usually, the president has consulted top leaders from the major political forces -- UCPN (Maoist), Nepali Congress, CPN-UML and United Madhes Democratic Front.
The president has now sought suggestions from a broader range of political forces as rumors are making the rounds that he is planning to take a bold step, given that repeated extensions of the deadline have been futile.
Though the president has repeatedly extended the deadline for the political parties to come up with a consensus prime ministerial candidate, leaders of the ruling and opposition parties have not even held formal bilateral talks for a couple of weeks now.
While the opposition alliance has proposed Nepali Congress President Sushil Koirala as its common candidate and insisted on the incumbent prime minister´s immediate exit, the ruling parties have rejected Koirala.
The prime minister has said he would step down only if the opposition parties are ready to form an election government under the leadership of a neutral candidate.