General

Civil society group calls for charter revision

- Post Report, Kathmandu

May 19, 2017-

A group of civil society members has reminded the government of its promise to address the grievances of the Madhesis, Janajatis and women through constitutional amendments.

Issuing a statement on Thursday, 47 personalities representing various walks of life including Advocate Dipendra Jha, Ujjwal Prasai and Sabitri Gautam said that a large section of the country’s population--the Madhesis, Tharus and other Janajatis in particular--remains deeply unsatisfied with the constitution promulgated in 2015.

“Neither do they take ownership of the document, a result of which was a protracted protest in which many citizens were injured, maimed, and even lost their lives. The agitation also led to a huge loss of private and public property,” the statement read.

That the government is aware of the extent of the dissatisfaction is proven by the various agreements made with the Madhesi Morcha and other disgruntled groups, they stated. “Realising the volatile situation we are in, we request Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal and other political leaders to pass the amendment bill and address the demands of the protesting front.” Such a move would facilitate the upcoming elections in the four remaining provinces, they said, warning that blocking the constitution amendment bill for narrow political and electoral gains would create deeper political and social polarisation in society and “plunge the nation into a dangerous sectarian crisis”.

On Wednesday, another group of civil society members had appealed to the government and the political parties not to amend the constitution and change the boundaries of local federal units.

At a time when the local elections in provinces 3, 4 and 6 have concluded, 10 civil society members including Kanak Mani Dixit, Bipin Adhikari and Krishna Prasad Sapkota said in a statement, it was not fair to change the demarcation of the local federal units in the remaining provinces. 

No steps should be taken against the election code of conduct and no policy or programme should be introduced in a way to impact the second phase of elections. The government has no right to alter the demarcation of the local level, they claimed.

Two different criteria should not apply to different parts of the country, the appeal said. It is also not fair to strip the elected local representatives of their right to participate in the election of Upper House members.

Published: 19-05-2017 08:56

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