CA approves ceremonial prez, bicameral legislature

  • With 176 of the 302 articles already approved, voting process is likely to end this afternoon
- Post Report, Kathmandu

Sep 16, 2015-

Nepal will have a parliamentary system with bicameral legislature, ceremonial presidency and three-tier judiciary in the new federal setup as the Constituent Assembly (CA) on Tuesday endorsed crucial articles related to legislature, executive and judiciary by over two-thirds majority.

With 176 of the total 302 articles of the Constitution Bill already endorsed, the voting process is expected to conclude on Wednesday.

The bicameral federal parliament will comprise federal legislature parliament as lower house and an upper house. Provincial parliaments will be unicameral. The CA also approved a mixed electoral system for parliamentary election with 60 percent directly elected and 40 percent proportionally elected.

The three-tier judiciary will consist of Supreme Court, High Court, and District Court.

 The CA has rejected demands for revival of monarchy, directly-elected executive President, provisions of constitutional court, among others in the new constitution.

 The day three of clause-wise voting proceeded with an amendment proposal tabled by the Rastriya Prajatantra Party-Nepal (RPP-N), demanding that monarch be the head of state. But it was rejected by an overwhelming majority in the CA. RPP-N Chairman Kamal Thapa demanded a division of votes on the issue but failed to garner 10 percent of CA votes under the CA rules of procedures.

UCPN (Maoist) CA members Rekha Sharma and Shyam Shrestha’s proposal for a directly-elected President as the head of state was also rejected by the House. Despite a directly-elected President being its official position, the UCPN (Maoist) accepted the parliamentary system, registering note of dissent.

 Top Maoist leaders say that proper management of federal structures require a directly-elected head of state. During the voting, even UCPN (Maoist) CA members voted against the proposal of directly-elected President as per the three-party agreement.

 The CA also endorsed the amendment of three parties--NC, UML and UCPN (M)--to replace Constitutional Court by Constitutional Bench. Earlier, the parties had agreed to set up a Constitutional Court. The CA endorsed the proposal to set up a Constitutional Bench within the Supreme Court. The three parties backtracked on the previous  decision following the requests of Supreme Court justices.

 The endorsement of articles of the draft constitution has gathered momentum on Tuesday after some lawmakers withdrew their amendment proposals.

Mainly, CA members from Nepal Majdoor Kisan Party, Rastriya Janamarocha, UCPN (Maoist) CA member Shyam Shrestha have registered dozens of amendment proposals. The three parties have also registered joint proposals, seeking amendments to several provisions in the draft constitution. Once the voting process concludes, Chairman of Constitution Drafting Committee Krishna Prasad Sitaula will table a proposal for the endorsement of constitution.

Endorsed on Tuesday

-    Ceremonial President: An electoral college, consisting of  members of the federal parliament and the members of provincial assembly, shall elect the President as ceremonial head. The term of president shall be for five years

-    Among President and Vice-president, one would be woman

-    Executive Power of Nepal: The executive power of Nepal shall rest with the Council of Ministers in accordance with this Constitution and law

-    Bicameral Parliament: There shall be a Legislature, called Federal Parliament, consisting of two Houses, namely the House of Representatives and the National Assembly.

-    Three-tier judiciary: There shall be three tier courts: Supreme Court, High Court, and District Court  

-    Constitutional Bench: The Constitutional Court will be replaced by Constitution Bench

Published: 16-09-2015 07:52

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