Print Edition - 2015-01-18 | Main News
Prez urges statute in consensus
Jan 17, 2015-
President Ram Baran Yadav has urged the major political parties to move ahead in the spirit of consensus, suggesting that the new constitution should be a document of consensus.
President Yadav has intensified meetings in the last couple of days to press top leaders to reach compromise before the constitution promulgation deadline four days away. On Saturday, the head of state invited leaders of the ruling and opposition parties to his residence and held separate meetings with them.
“You should reach some sort of agreement or understanding before January 22 to convince the people that the constitution will be promulgated sooner or later,” said a leader who attended the meeting.
To a group of opposition party leaders including UCPN-Maoist Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal, he urged that the forces who jointly fought against monarchy and autocracy should come together ushering in a political deal.
Dahal complained that the Nepali Congress and the CPN-UML were trying to impose a vote in the Constituent Assembly to decide the disputed issues. “The ruling parties are trying to corner us with their numerical strength, which is unacceptable to us,” Dahal told the President.
“Initially, the President inquired us about the constitution drafting process,” said Maoist leader Narayan Kaji Shrestha, adding that he stressed on securing the achievements made in the past seven years at any cost.
The President repeatedly advised the Maoist and Madhesi leaders not to go for confrontation at this critical juncture. He urged them to think of ways to avoid conflict and confrontation within the CA and outside.
In his meeting with the ruling alliance, the President sought maximum effort to bring out a constitution at the earliest. “Being the first and second largest parties, the NC and UML have additional responsibility in the statute writing process,” NC Joint General Secretary Purna Bahadur Khadka quoted the President as saying.
According to Khadka, the ruling party leaders had briefed the President on the progress made and the obstacles facing them. Prime Minister Sushil Koirala elaborated on the discussions held at the Political Dialogue and Consensus Committee.
Koirala said that the PDCC had failed to produce a substantive result despite getting repeated chances for consensus-building. “Therefore, we have decided to take consensus efforts and the CA process together,” Koirala told meeting.
Ruling party leaders told the President that they would be flexible on the forms of government, electoral system and judiciary if the Maoist and Madhesi parties negotiate their stance on federalism.
The ruling NC and UML have proposed a seven-state federal model while the Maoist and Madhesi parties press for 10 provinces.
“We proposed to form a constitutional federal commission that determines the boundary of states within a year,” said Khadka, adding that the decisions of the commission could be endorsed by the parliament later.
Published: 18-01-2015 10:37