Respect opposition views, legal eagles advise PM

- POST REPORT, Kathmandu

Feb 2, 2015-

Members of the legal fraternity have suggested that Prime Minister Sushil Koirala should take the agitating parties on board the constitution drafting process by incorporating their points of view even as notes of dissent.

Some of the legal eagles were of the view that by-election may be necessary if the opposition reigns en masse from the CA. Koirala convened a meeting on Monday to solicit views from lawyers and advocates on the stalemate following the formation of the Questionnaire Committee in the CA.

The UCPN (Maoist) has threatened to quit the CA altogether if it is “completely sidelined in the statute drafting process”.

An alliance of opposition parties that it leads has already declared a series of protests against the ruling parties’ move to form the committee despite their objection.

“The opposition needs to be brought on board so that they feel ownership of the process. The ruling parties should present alternatives for resolving the dispute,” said Bipin Adhikari, dean of the law faculty at Kathmandu University. He added that the ruling parties should explain how the joint proposal of the Nepali Congress and the CPN-UML addresses the issue of identity and inclusion.

Advocate Bhimarjun Acharya said the opposition needs to be told that the formation of the Questionnaire Committee is only the beginning of the process and that final work will happen in the full session of the Assembly. “The opposition should be allowed to present notes of dissent in the committee,” added Acharya.

Senior Advocate Purnaman Shakya argued that if the process moves ahead unilaterally, a significant chunk of the constituency will be underrepresented. “Further, if the opposition resigns en masse, by-elections will have to be conducted for the posts vacated by directly elected members,” said Shakya. He, however, suggested that the questions prepared by the committee can be approved by the CA in consensus.

Published: 03-02-2015 09:13

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