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Ruling NC, UML to ask Maoists to come back to talks

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KATHMANDU-

The ruling parties NC and CPN-UML are preparing to call the UCPN (Maoist)-led opposition alliance once again to sit for talks in an effort to bring the front to a negotiating table to seek consensus on the disputed issues of constitution drafting.

In a joint meeting held at Prime Minister Sushil Koirala’s residence on Thursday evening, second-rung leaders of the ruling parties suggested that the initiative should resume formal converses with the opposition as soon as possible.

They warned that complexities could emerge once the Constituent Assembly starts voting on the disputed issues.

Sources near to the government said the Prime Minister is planning to call the Maoists to come back to the negotiating table assuring that there is space for bargain even as the CA has started preparation for the voting process.

The ruling parties, which have begun the process to set up questionnaires on the disputes, are in a fix after the opposition declined to take an interest in the CA process and announced fresh plans of protest.

The NC and the UML are holding an alternate meeting on Friday before making a announcement.

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Maldives opposition legislator Ibrahim Mohamed Solih wins presidency

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MALE — Maldives opposition legislator Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has beaten incumbent Abdulla Yameen according to provisional results, the country’s Elections Commission says.

Results released by the Elections Commission showed Mr Solih securing 133,808 votes (58.3 percent) compared to the 95,526 for incumbent Abdulla Yameen. The voter turnout was over 88 per cent out of the 262,000-strong electorate.

The Maldives government has acknowledged the opposition’s victory after the vote on Sunday, a surprise defeat for President Abdulla Yameen who was widely expected to win.

There were no other candidates.

Mr Solih had the backing of a united opposition trying to oust Mr Yameen, but struggled for visibility with the electorate, with local media fearful of falling afoul of heavy-handed decrees and reporting restrictions.

“I call on Yameen to respect the will of the people and bring about a peaceful, smooth transfer of power,” Solih said on television, shortly after interim results from the country’s election commission.

“We have won this election with a comfortable majority,” Solih said.

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