The prime minister’s election has been deadlocked for more than three months now. As we went to the press, the 13th round of the futile voting was in progress. Rhetoric of a consensus has remained just rhetoric. There has been no sign yet of a concrete progress in breaking the deadlock. The blame-game continues. A major sticking point, all agree, is how to address the vexing the issue of the Maoist combatants. The Maoists and the non-Maoists both want to settle the issue on their terms. Both mistrust each other. That is why despite some seemingly positive moves last month, not much has moved forward since then. This is what we have attempted to take a look at in the cover story this time. The combatants’ issue is closely linked with the success or the failure of the peace process and the constitution making. Drawing a battle line over the issue will endanger the whole peace process. Unfortunately, none of the political actors appear to realize this notwithstanding their postures in public. Time is fast running out. As they say, time and tide wait for none.