Questionnaire committee gets five more days

- POST REPORT, Kathmandu

Feb 5, 2015-

Amid obstruction by the fourth largest Rastriya Prajatantra Party-Nepal and boycott of the UCPN (Maoist) and Madhes-based parties, the Constituent Assembly on Thursday gave the Questionnaire Committee five more days to work.

CA members from Maoist, Madhesi and Janajati parties were absent in the CA

meeting in line with their strategy not to be part of any majority process of constitution drafting.

The pro-monarchy party obstructed the meeting demanding that questions should be formulated on secularism, republicanism and federalism too in order to put these agenda to a vote in the Assembly.

Earlier, the pro-Hindu party boycotted the meeting of the committee after the ruling parties turned down its demand arguing that the CA has owned up the progress made by the first Assembly and these agendas are integral components of the Interim Constitution. The RPP-Nepal wants voting between republicanism and constitutional monarchy, and secularism and Hindu state.

Oldest Committee member Kul Bahadur Gurung tabled the tenure extension proposal which was endorsed amid the obstruction. CA Chairman Subas Nembang said the demand was premature as he could not do anything about it before the committee submitted its report.

RPP-Nepal Chairman Kamal Thapa has demanded that Nembang should issue a ruling to the committee to prepare questions on all the issues. The CA chairman, however, did not entertain the demand and continued the House business.

The Questionnaire Committee started its work on Saturday. Its terms of reference state that secularism, republicanism and federalism cannot be questioned.

Committee members said they need more time as they are yet to prepare questions on the key disputes involving federalism and forms of government. The opposition front led by the UCPN (Maoist) has set dissolution of the Questionnaire Committee as a precondition to talks with the ruling alliance.

In Thursday’s meeting, the opposition row was vacant. RPP-Nepal descended to the well to obstruct the House.

Indicating the absence of agitating members, Nembang said the CA is unlike a parliamentary session where opposition’s presence is mandatory to conduct the meeting.

“In the CA, there is no concept of ruling and opposition parties,” Nembang said. The next meeting will take place after the committee submits its report. As the CA process goes on, there is increasing pressure on the ruling parties and the opposition to hold a dialogue for drafting the new constitution in consensus.


Published: 06-02-2015 10:18

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