- POSTED: 12 Jan 2014 01:39
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Nepal's interim government has asked the country's new parliament to hold its first meeting on January 22, an official said.
KATHMANDU: Nepal's interim government has asked the country's new parliament to hold its first meeting on January 22, an official said late Saturday, easing the country's political limbo.
The new constituent assembly, which was voted for in elections in November and will serve as a legislative body, is expected to draft a long-awaited post-war constitution.
"The government has decided to call the first constituent assembly meeting on January 22," Bimal Gautam, spokesman for the country's interim administration, told AFP.
A similar assembly was elected in 2008 but failed to deliver the constitution or to complete the stalled peace process.
The 30 political parties that won seats in the November elections were initially expected to name proposed lawmakers by December 10, but the process was delayed after the routed Maoists refused to join the assembly.
The former rebels, who waged a decade-long insurgency against the state before entering politics, came third in the November 19 polls, prompting them to allege fraud and threaten to boycott the parliament.
But after weeks of cross-party negotiations the Maoists agreed last month to take part in the parliament.
The Maoists laid down their arms in 2006 and swept the country's first post-war elections two years later.
Since then, a string of short-lived coalition administrations, mainly led by the former guerrillas, have squabbled and failed to draft a constitution.
The Maoists won just 80 of the 575 seats up for grabs in November's poll, well behind the centrist Nepali Congress party which won 196 and the Unified Marxist-Leninists which got 175.
A new government is expected to be led by the Nepali Congress and will nominate a further 26 members to join the 601-member assembly.