The opposition party, UCPN-Maoist, asserted that the 10-state model suggested by High-level State Restructuring Commission of the first Constituent Assembly (CA) is its bottom line for talks with the ruling parties on federalism.

The UCPN-Mosisst has today – five days before the deadline to settle disputed issues – has clarified there stance on number of states.

A meeting of the party also agreed that less than 10 states could not address the aspirations of Janajatis and other marginalised communities.

Earlier, the ruling alliance – Nepali Congress (NC) and CPN-UML – have vouched for no more than seven states.

The party is still to come clear on the form of governance, though the party’s official stand is directly elected president. But the party has hinted earlier that it could opt for a mixed model in which executive powers are shared between the president and the prime minister.

Meanwhile, UCPN-Maoist has also decided to ask the ruling alliance to include its breakaway faction – CPN-Maoist led by Mohan Baidya ‘Kiran’ – into the constitution drafting process by forming a High-level Political Committee.

The CPN-Maoist had boycotted the November 19 CA elections claiming that it cannot solve the issues and draft constitution.

However, the disputed issue of High-level Political Committee is yet to be resolved as the ruling alliance is against it and the opposition is pressing for the committee with UCPN-Maoist chairman Puspa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ as its chair.

The UCPN-Maoist also accepted to hold an all-party round table conference to resolve contentious issues, as repeatedly demanded by CPN-Maoist.

The consensus seems still a far cry as the deadline September 6 is only five days away and the political parties are yet to settle on key issues like federalism, form of governance, judiciary and electoral system.

The Constituent Assembly (CA) will take up the issues and settle them through vote, if the Political Dialogue and Consensus Committee – led by UCPN-leader Dr Baburam Bhattarai – fails to settle contentious issues by September 6.

Though, the CA calendar says disputes issues are put to vote in the Assembly, the UCPN-Maoist and Madhes-based parties are opposing it asking to forge consensus to settle disputes.

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