NEW DELHI –- Ending months of political deadlock, Nepal's four major parties reached a deal in the capital, Katmandu, late Wednesday in which the prime minister would step down, the chief justice would take his place and an election would be held as early as June, according to local news reports.
As outlined, the 11-point agreement would be endorsed by the current Cabinet and presented to the president for approval, paving the way for Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai to step aside as head of the Maoist party-led government and 63-year-old Chief Justice Khil Raj Regmi to take over. Regmi has been chief justice since May 2011.
The new government is to hold an election of the Constituent Assembly on June 21 if possible or, alternately, by November. All Nepali citizens over the age of 18 will be eligible to vote.
Deputy Prime Minister Narayan Kaji Shrestha said the government would consist of 11 top former government officials.
Nepal has been mired in a political standoff since the dissolution of the Constituent Assembly in May.
The country ended 10 years of civil war between the armed forces and Maoist rebels in 2006. But lawmakers since then have failed repeatedly to write a new constitution amid bitter disputes and a series of unstable coalition governments.