January 22 ‘too close’ even for statute draft

  • Leaders say draft possible only with a deal in two days
- POST REPORT, Kathmandu
January 22 ‘too close’ even for statute draft

Dec 27, 2014-

It seems near impossible to bring out even the preliminary draft—let alone the new constitution—by the January 22 deadline, leaders and legal experts have said.

And for either of them to happen, the major parties should first settle the contentious issues of the constitution writing process within the next couple of days.

Top leaders of the major parties, including Prime Minister Sushil Koirala and CPN-UML Chairman KP Sharma Oli, have been saying that they would issue the new constitution by the date by following the due process in the Constituent Assembly if there is no consensus among the parties.

With the chances of the final constitution less than a month from now effectively ended, parties are working at making public the preliminary draft.

The cross-party taskforce is effortful to find a compromise but there are no signs of agreement yet. There are only 25 days at hand and it is impossible to ready the draft even by fast-tracking the process, legal eagles said. Under the existing circumstances, it would be impossible to prepare the first draft in the next three weeks.

CA Chairman Subas Nembang says a fast-track method could be adopted

but to do so it is necessary to amend the CA rules of procedure first which will take time.

Three weeks ago, Nembang submitted a blueprint for shortcut but the parties failed to settle contentious issues within the given time.

For the amendments, a panel has to be formed to suggest how the process could be shortened and this takes time. The Drafting Committee said earlier that it needs at least a month after the parties forge consensus to prepare the draft.

If the parties agree on the contents, the CA forwards the disputed agendas to the Political Dialogue and Consensus Committee. The PDCC will again submit

the report to the Constituent Assembly which will be forwarded to the Drafting Committee.

As per the existing rules of procedure and the CA working calendar, it takes at least three months to complete the procedure after the parties agree on the contentious issues.

Nepali Congress Joint General Secretary Purna Bahadur Khadka said there has not been any progress on the contentious issues though the deadline is fast approaching.

UCPN (Maoist) leader Narayan Kaji Shrestha said it would be impossible to prepare the first draft by January 22 if consensus is not forged within the next two days.


Taskforce finds no way out

KATHMANDU: A cross-party taskforce formed to present a consensus proposal on the disputed issues of constitution writing has failed to do its bit to give headway to the prolonged process.

Members of the four-party panel have agreed to sit for talks with their seniors on Sunday. “We will share our understanding with them,” said Nepali Congress General Secretary and taskforce member Krishna Prasad Sitaula.

The Nepali Congress, CPN-UML, UCPN (Maoist) and Madhes-based parties on Thursday formed the committee mandating it to sort the disputed issues within Saturday. It held several meetings on Friday and Saturday, seeking common ground on the key constitutional issues such as federalism, forms of government, electoral systems and the judiciary.

“We presented our views on how to bridge the gap but no conclusion has been drawn. We may now discuss the issues with senior leaders,” said Laxman Lal Karna, another taskforce member from the Sadbhawana Party.

The taskforce is said to have discussed the outstanding agendas “extensively” but did not reach “concrete conclusion”. In the meeting with their senior leaders on Sunday, taskforce members will suggest a possible consensus roadmap.

The ruling and opposition parties are at odds over key constitutional issues and the ways to resolve them. Other members of the taskforce are Bhim Rawal from the CPN-UML and Krishna Bahadur Mahara from the UCPN (Maoist). (PR)


Published: 28-12-2014 10:02

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