Parties ‘to miss’ mid-Oct limit

  • constitution writing
  • A month needed to prepare first draft after pact: Panel
- POST REPORT, Kathmandu

Sep 24, 2014-

Parties are likely to miss the mid-October deadline for preparing a first draft of new constitution even if disputed issues are resolved through a voting process due to sluggish pace of work, cross-party leaders said on Wednesday.

A meeting of Drafting Committee on Wednesday concluded that it would take at least a month after the parties settled the contentious issues. With the deadline just three weeks away, the Political Dialogue and Consensus Committee (PDCC) is yet to settle the key disputes in constitution writing. As parties are engaged in dispute over High-level Political Committee leadership and its terms of reference, there have not been substantial discussions on the contentious issues.

Nepali Congress leader Krishna Prasad Sitaula said although the parties are likely to miss the deadline to accomplish the tasks, they are committed to deliver a new constitution by January 22.  

Following the second extension of deadline, the PDCC has to settle key contentious issues such as federalism, forms of governance, electoral system and judiciary by September 30. The committee had earlier failed to complete the tasks within the mid-September deadline.

The parties are sharply divided over the process to be adopted. The ruling Nepali Congress and CPN-UML want to settle disputed issues through a voting process if they could not reach a consensus. But the opposition parties are against it, arguing that it is not possible to prepare a questionnaire on disputed issues and put that to the vote.

“Parties in the CA have their own position and it is not possible to address all of them,” said Sadbhawana party lawmaker Laxman Lal Karna. But he hinted that the parties could reach an agreement to prepare a first draft of new constitution incorporating both agreed and disputed issues even if it is not possible to meet the mid-October deadline. With the parties unwilling to budge, PDCC Chairman Baburam Bhattarai asked them to come up with their respective position on key contentious issues of the new constitution in writing. A leader said the PDCC could submit its report to the CA, incorporating both agreed and disputed issues of the new constitution if the parties failed to reach a consensus.

 

Published: 25-09-2014 09:12

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