08/24/2010, 00.00
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After two months without a government, Nepal is in danger of bankruptcy

by Kalpit Parajuli
Parliament failed yesterday for the fifth time to elect a new prime minister. Budget crucial to obtain UN funds that run schools, hospitals and development programs blocked. Economic analyst: "If the political stalemate continues for another month, all economic development projects will fail."

Kathmandu (AsiaNews) - Nepal has been without a government for almost two months now after the resignation of Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal June 30 under pressure from the Maoist party. Yesterday, for a fifth time parliament failed to elect a new prime minister, blocking consensus on the approval of the budget which would unlock UN financial funds key for schools, hospitals and development programs. Today, the interim government has approved a stop gap solution that provides access to one third of funding, triggering protests from officials who prefer to wait for the new session of parliament scheduled for Sept. 5.

Jagdish Chandra Pokharel, vice head of the National Planning Commission said that "all development activities are completely blocked.  "Civil servants – he continues - will have to revise a new budget when the new government is formed. This is why they have rejected an interim solution and currently all major national development plans are in limbo. "

According Bishwambhar Pyakurel, economic analyst, the delay in appointing the new government has blocked all economic activities and without planning what little revenue is available will be used in an arbitrary manner." If the politics remains in such liquid state for more than one month - he adds -, all the plans for this fiscal year will be failure".

The current political and economic stalemate is due to the ongoing friction between the Seven Party Alliance, that dates to before the fall of the monarchy, and the party of former Maoist guerrillas, who in 2008 won the elections for the constituent assembly after decades of guerrilla warfare. In 2006, the UN and the international community drew up a peace process involving the disarmament of militias and their absorption into Maoist army. But President Ram Baran Yadav, fearful of the power of the Maoists, has refused so far to integrate former rebels into the army. On May 4, 2009 Prachanda stepped down as prime minister and led protests in June forcing the Interim Premier Kumar Nepal to resign.

There are three parties that can present a candidate: Nepali Congress (NC), United Marxist-Leninist (UML) and Unified Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist (UCPN-M). But none of them have enough seats to form a government and the leaders of smaller parties are not willing to give votes to the opponents, yesterday voting overwhelmingly will null ballots.
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