Morcha sets riders for accepting amendments

- ROSHAN SEDHAI, Kathmandu
SLMM wantsPopulation should be the sole criteria for fixing electoral constituencies Representation in the national assembly based on population ratio Defining proportional and inclusive representationRetaining interim constitution provision on citizenship

Dec 26, 2015-The Samyukta Loktantrik Madhesi Morcha (SLMM) has expressed readiness to support the Constitution Amendment Bill if the major parties were ready to accept to revise it to address their concerns over constituency delineation and proportional and inclusive representation.

In a meeting with UCPN (Maoist) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal, Morcha leaders said that the revision should guarantee population as the sole basis for delineation of electoral constituencies and representation in the national assembly.

Similarly, the Morcha has also called for defining proportional and inclusive representation to make clear “who all would benefit from the provision and how”.

Morcha leaders also told Dahal that they were even ready to support the proposal to redraw the federal boundaries through a high-level political mechanism within three months “if major parties agree for the aforementioned revision in the amendment bill”. Morcha had also put forward similar condition before the Nepali Congress, the largest party in Parliament. The NC has sought two days to make its position clear.

“There is not much difference on citizenship law, as changing few words would address our concerns. But we made it clear that we cannot support the bill in its existing format,” said Mahantha Thakur after the Morcha’s meeting with Dahal. Dahal, who had separately met CPN-UML and NC leaders earlier on Friday, said he would discuss Morcha’s new conditions at a trilateral meeting scheduled for Saturday. He said he was positive about addressing Morcha’s concerns.

 “All sides should show equal flexibility to find a political solution to the crisis,” a leader present in the meeting quoted Dahal as saying.

Sanghiya Samajbadi Forum Nepal Chairman Upendra Yadav said that the government should either crush the protests through force or resolve the crisis through dialogue. He said that Prime Minister KP Oli’s “lowly remarks” and actions of security force at the ground have worsened the situation. He said that Morcha would accept the constitution only if major parties agree to resolve all disputed issues, including boundaries, in a package.“There should be an agreement on all issues including redrawing of provincial boundaries. The amendment proposal is not acceptable under current circumstances,” said Yadav.

Published: 26-12-2015 08:26

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