KATHMANDU: The state of emergency clamped on November 26 last year by King Gyanendra on the recommendation of Deuba cabinet will be extended for another six months. The first six- month duration of the extraordinary step aimed at crushing Maoists terrorism in the country was approved by parliament on Feb 21.
Prime Minister Deuba, who also holds the defence portfolio, told Reuters that he would decide within days whether he should ask parliament to extend the state of emergency in Nepal for another six months. This will enable the security forces to continue to exercise extra powers conferred on them by the declaration.
The first six-month phase of the emergency will officially end on May 26. The House of Representatives will have to extend the state of emergency for one more time for six months. Beyond that period, the measure cannot be extended for even a day.
The emergency order first issued on November 26 last, was approved by the House by 194 votes to seven with two members of the cabinet and one RPP member not taking part in the voting that day. They—environment and population minister P.L. Singh, minister of state for agriculture Laxman Prasad Mehta and RPP lawmaker Ajay Pratap Shah—could not make it to the House.