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Nepal summons new assembly to convene Jan 22

January 12, 2014

KATMANDU, Nepal (AP) — Nepal’s government on Sunday summoned for next week the newly elected Constituent Assembly, a month behind schedule after the president and the head of government resolved their differences.

The assembly will attempt to write a new constitution and also function as the parliament.

A notice to legislators issued by the head of the interim government, Khil Raj Regmi, said the assembly would convene Wednesday.

Regmi and President Ram Baran Yadav could not previously agree on who should send the notice, but finally reached the deal late Saturday.

The Himalayan country has stumbled through the last five years with no constitution and parliamentary paralysis in addressing chronic problems.

The row between the president and Regmi was the latest hurdle to delay the new constitution that was supposed to have been written by the first assembly elected in 2008, following the end of a 10-year Maoist insurgency and the overthrow of the centuries-old monarchy. But the assembly was riven by infighting and never finished its work.

A new assembly was elected on Nov. 19, but immediately hit problems after the Communist Party of Nepal Maoist, the party of former communist rebels, declared a boycott saying there were election irregularities. The Maoists finally agreed to join the new assembly weeks later.

The assembly is expected to first elect a new government. None of the parties has a clear majority in the assembly, and it could pave the way for the formation of a coalition government.

Update hourly