Deliberations on statute amendment bill over

- Binod Ghimire, Kathmandu

Jan 4, 2016-

Deliberations on the first amendment to Constitution of Nepal concluded in Parliament on Sunday in the absence of four regional parties, who have been objecting to the Amendment Bill saying that it was tabled without their consent.

The House on Monday will give lawmakers 72 hours to register their amendments to the bill after Law Minister Agni Kharel answers issues raised by the MPs during the week-long discussion. The bill will be tabled again for clause-wise discussion before Parliament votes on it.

A total of 57 lawmakers from the ruling and opposition parties, except those under the Samyukta Loktantrik Madhesi Morcha, participated in the deliberations that started on December 28. The major parties, in consultation with the agitating forces, will register amendments if talks between them reach an agreement within three days. Otherwise, there will be no major change in the bill. The SLMM has said it will not propose any revision if there is no breakthrough.

“We are expecting some sort of achievement in the talks soon,” said CPN-UML whip Gokul Gharti. Concerns of the Madhesi parties will be addressed through some changes, such as in language, in the bill as agreed, he added.

A majority of lawmakers who expressed their views defended the bill claiming that it will ensure inclusion of every section of society in state bodies. They, however, said there should be optimum effort to address the concerns of the Madhesi parties who have been protesting both on the streets and in Parliament.

Nepali Congress lawmaker Jeevan Pariyar said the Tarai parties should be taken into confidence as the sole purpose of the amendment is to address their demands.

RPP-Nepal member Sushil Kumar Shrestha appealed to the agitating parties to safeguard the achievements guaranteed by the constitution. “Our demands have also been overlooked. But we believe we can amend the constitution if people support us,” he said.

The proposal seeks to amend Articles 42, 84 and 286 of the constitution in order to ensure proportional inclusive representation of the marginalised communities in state bodies and electoral constituency delimitation with priority for population by reserving at least one seat each for the 75 districts.

Revision to be pushed through: Dahal

BIRATNAGAR: UCPN (Maoist) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal has said three major parties are prepared to push through constitution amendments if talks with the agitating Madhes-based parties fail to yield any results within the next few days. But in doing so, suggestions from the regional parties would be incorporated, he added.

“Our first priority is to arrive at consensus with the Madhesi Morcha,” Dahal told reporters in Biratnagar. “If that is not possible, the three parties will pass the bill incorporating some demands of the Madhes-based parties.”

He said the major parties would not wait for the protesting forces much longer. 

Dahal ruled out separate talks with the Sadbhawana Party which has announced solo protests after attack on its Chair Rajendra Mahato. Dahal said there would be no obstacles even if Mahato did not participate in the consensus process. (PR)

Published: 04-01-2016 08:49

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