Print Edition - 2014-08-19 | Nation
Major parties agree on flexible proposal
Aug 18, 2014-
Three major parties--Nepali Congress, CPN-UML and UCPN (Maoist)--on Monday agreed to be flexible yet again on the contentious issues of the constitution drafting process by holding consultations in the respective parties. In a meeting, the parties maintained that there is no meaning of holding negotiations, reiterating the existing positions on key contentious issues of the new constitution.
As per the understanding, the three parties will engage in internal discussions to prepare a flexible proposal before their next meeting scheduled for Saturday.
Making a pitch for seven provinces and improved parliamentary system, NC leaders said the party is ready to adopt flexibility on contentious issues if there is a guarantee of a new constitution. On federalism, the party has prioritised capability while stressing the need to address the issue of identity.
During the meeting, the parties also agreed to come up with a point of compromise on contentious issues of federalism, forms of governance and electoral system, among others. The CPN-UML pressed for five provinces (maximum of seven) and a directly elected prime minister as forms of governance. “We are open to all options,” said UML Secretary Pradeep Gyawali, without divulging details about a possible compromise. Senior UML leader Jhala Nath Khanal’s proposal for five provinces had earlier drawn flak from the Maoists and Madhesi parties.
The UCPN (Maoist) is likely to pitch a 10-province model as a middle-path, arguing that this would address the issue of identity of the marginalised. The party has been calling for either 10- or 14-province model as suggested by State Restructuring Commis-sion and State Restructuring Committee of the first CA.
The parties are likely to explore several options, including a mixed model of power sharing between the head of state and the head of government, directly elected President and traditional parliamentary system. While these are no more new issues, leaders privy to development hinted that the parties will try to strike a compromise within these parameters.
The parties had on May 15, 2012 agreed to go for the mixed model as forms of governance. But that could put an agreement on contentious issues under ownership dispute all over again, leaders warn.
Published: 19-08-2014 09:11