The Straits Times
Published on Nov 29, 2012

Nepal's leaders in race to set up 'unity' government


KATHMANDU (AFP) - Nepal's Maoists faced a race against time on Thursday to meet a deadline to form a national unity government with opposition parties, end political turmoil and steer the country towards elections.

Nepal has been run by a caretaker Maoist-led government since the collapse in May of an interim assembly that had failed in its main task of drawing up a new constitution following a 10-year civil war that ended in 2006.

The Maoists were expected to take part in a string of meetings Thursday with opposition parties in Kathmandu in a last-ditch attempt to break the political deadlock before the deadline expires.

The impoverished Himalayan nation, tucked between giant China and India, has been plagued by instability since the Maoist insurgency ended and the monarchy was abolished in 2008.