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Nepal Government Still in Limbo

The midnight, Saturday deadline set by Nepali President Ram Baran Yadav to reach consensus on the formation of a new government for Nepal has come and gone with no sign of agreement between the 25 parliamentary parties.

Nepal's major parties have engaged in ongoing strategy sessions since Maoist Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal, known as Prachanda, resigned earlier this week in protest of the President's refusal to oust the Nepali army chief.

Nepal's government remained in limbo as the clock struck midnight in Nepal's capital of Kathmandu-the official deadline set by Nepal President Ram Baran Yadav for the formation of a new unity government.

Nepal's Major party members will remain in meetings well into the early morning with a major announcement on the next-step slated for mid-day Sunday, according to an official in the President's Office.

Earlier this week Prachanda resigned after the Nepali President Yadav blocked his move to fire army chief General Rukmangad Katwal. The Maoist premier had attempted to oust the Army chief general for refusing to incorporate 19,000 former Maoist fighters into the Nepali army - as originally assured in a 2006 peace deal.

Since then Nepal's main opposition party, the Nepali Congress (NC), has agreed to support a new government led by the third largest party, the Communist Party of Nepal-Unified Marxist Leninist (UML).

UML leadership wrapped up a day-long meeting Saturday evening where they hashed out who among their leadership they would position for the Prime Ministerial post. The General Secretary Ishwor Pokhrel confirmed they are leaning towards Madav Kumar Nepal. Pokhrel says the UML is the best choice to piece together a fragile government. "Now we are in center. And in right side we have Nepali Congress and left side the Maoist. And we have to pull the Nepali Congress for progressive reform and we have to pull the Maoist from left side for peaceful community politics," he said.

The UML has yet to successfully court the Maoist opposition to support a UML led parliament.

In the city center of Nepal's capital of Kathmandu bells marking the annual celebration of Buddah's birthday on Saturday were quickly drowned out by thousands of Maoists protesting nearby. Caretaker Prime Minister Prachanda addressed the crowd speaking out against the opposition parties for disregarding Nepal's newly elected Maoist majority.

Prachanda says his resignation fires a rocket at foreign reactionaries and at those here who surrendered their national pride. The recently resigned Prime Minister says opposition parties are bowing to the will of neighboring countries like India in their refusal to dismiss the Army chief.

As Nepalis await a verdict on the state of their divided country, the caretaker Prime Minister affirms he will support the peace process until it "ends conclusively."