General

Parties make fresh bid to settle state demarcation

  • PDCC fails to submit report
- KAMAL DEV BHATTARAI, KATHMANDU
Parties make fresh bid to settle state demarcation

Aug 2, 2015-

Major parties have started fresh attempts to settle delineation of federal units which might affect the informal calendar of Constituent Assembly (CA) that aims to bring out new constitution by August 16.

 As parties remained busy in delineation talks, the Political Dialogue and Consensus Committee failed to submit its report on Sunday as directed by full House Constituent Assembly (CA).  

 The CA on Wednesday had directed PDCC to modify the draft constitution on the basis of feedbacks provided by people and present it before the full House. PDCC Chairman Baburam Bhattarai postponed the meeting for indefinite period stating that he will submit a complete report.

 Earlier, CA Chair Subas Nembang had suggested pushing the process forward even if the PDCC failed to find consensus on the disputed issues. He was of the view that parties could forward the agreed issues to the CA and continue discussions on remaining issues.  Bhattarai said he would submit the report only after agreement on all issues. According to Bhattarai, parties have made an understanding to promulgate a new constitution only after demarcation of federal units.

 A taskforce formed by major parties has thrashed out some minor issues of constitution. Some vital issues such as demarcation of federal units, religion, form of government, provisions of citizenship among others remain unsettled.

 On June 8, four parties signed 16-point deal which paved the way for preparing preliminary draft of constitution. The deal states that country shall be federated into eight provinces and a commission will be formed to work out on demarcation.

 There is growing realisation at the top leadership that constitution should be promulgated only after the demarcation of federal units. This is also because a majority of the feedbacks stood in favour of demarcation before the constitution promulgation and some Madhes-based parties are pressing for the same.

 Of late, Nepali Congress and UCPN (Maoist) are pushing for the constitution with demarcation of state borders. Prime Minister Sushil Koirala on Sunday said that he wished to promulgate constitution only after delineation of federal units. CPN-UML, however, is of the view that constitution drafting process should not be stopped even if no agreement could be reached right now. In the PDCC meeting, UML along with some fringe parties raised objection to the fresh talks on demarcation saying that it is against the spirit of 16-point deal.  

 However, according to UCPN (Maoist) Vice-chairman Narayan Kaji Shrestha, though various options are on table, there has not been any substantial progress on delineation of federal units.

 According to him, if a tentative demarcation is sketched out, Federal Commission can finalise the details. Apparently, the disputes among the parties lies on five districts Jhapa, Morang, Sunsari, Kailai and Kanchanpur.  In the joint meeting, party's Central Working Committee and Parliamentary Party, Nepali Congress leaders pressed the leadership to stand in favour of demarcation of federal units.

Published: 02-08-2015 18:02

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