KATHMANDU, March 14 (Xinhua) -- In a swift turn of events late on Wednesday night, Nepal's political parties signed a package deal on setting up an interim government under the leadership of the sitting Chief Justice Khil Raj Regmi.
The 11-point deal signed by the ruling and opposition parties allows Chief Justice Regmi to hold the second Constituent Assembly elections by June 21 in capacity of the chairperson of the Interim Election Council.
The chief justice has to hand over power to the government formed after the elections. However, if the election is not held by June 21, the chief justice can remain in power until mid- December 2013.
The Interim Election Council will not have more than 11 members who will be from among the retired secretary-level civil servants of the government of Nepal.
Regmi will be sworn in by the president on Thursday morning, according to cabinet sources.
The parties also signed another major document which proposed 25 amendments to the existing constitution to pave the way for the chief justice to lead an interim government. In the existing constitution, there is no provision for an interim election body.
Both documents (11-point agreement and 25-point ordinance for constitutional amendments) were approved by a cabinet meeting on Wednesday.
The ordinance has been forwarded to the office of the president for final approval, only after which the chief justice can lead an election government without contradicting with the constitution.
"Finally, the country has got an outlet. We are now heading for an election," said Ram Chandra Poudel, vice president of the opposition Nepali Congress party.
Among other understandings, parties agreed to form a Truth and Reconciliation Commission that will not offer blanket amnesty for severe crimes committed during the insurgency period (1996-2006).
Meanwhile, three ministers boycotted the cabinet meeting expressing dissatisfaction over the process of approving the two major documents by the cabinet.
On Thursday, a Supreme Court hearing was scheduled to test the constitutionality of the parties' proposal to appoint chief justice as the head of the government.