Negotiations among Nepal's political parties, including the Maoists, continued Sunday after political leaders tentatively agreed to hold elections by mid-April.
Nepalese Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala said in a speech to regional students in Kathmandu Sunday, that the remaining obstacles to elections would be resolved as soon as possible.
A spokesman for the United Nations Mission in Nepal, Kieran Dwyer, says after two delays during the past year, this latest announcement gives cause for renewed optimism that Nepal is getting back on track.
The communist rebels, who fought a decade-long civil war against the monarchy, have shown no signs of dropping their demand to immediately abolish the Nepalese throne. The Maoists are also calling for all legislators for the constituent assembly to be selected through a proportional representation system.
Maoist leader Pushpa Kamal Dahal, known as Prachanda, was quoted by Nepalese media as saying Sunday that his group remains adamant on that position, despite reports of a compromise with the six other parties a day earlier.
A peace agreement was signed a year ago between the government and the communists. The former rebels came into the interim government for five months. They left in September contending promises made to them for equal representation in the peace process had not been met.