Major parties agree to endorse bill Saturday

  • constitution amendment
- Binod Ghimire, Kathmandu

Jan 20, 2016-

The major parties have agreed to endorse the First Amendment to the Constitution of Nepal—with or without a deal with the Madhes-based parties—on Saturday. 

The Constitution Amendment Bill was tabled in Parliament on December 15, but the amendment process was first delayed and then put on hold—for two weeks—to allow more time for reaching a deal with the agitating Samyukta Loktantrik Madhesi Morcha (SLMM). 

A meeting of the major parties and Speaker Onsari Gharti on Tuesday, prior to the House meeting, decided to start discussions on the constitution amendment from Thursday and put the bill for voting on Saturday. They, however, are yet to take a decision on the amendment proposal.  

“If an agreement with the agitating parties is reached before Saturday, a revised proposal that incorporates all Madhesi concerns is likely to be endorsed,” said Hit Raj Pandey, chief whip of the UCPN (Maoist). “In the absence of an agreement, the amendment proposal in its current form will be endorsed.” 

Top leaders from the Nepali Congress, CPN-UML, UCPN (Maoist) and Rastriya Prajatantra Party-Nepal (RPP-N) have agreed to wait for two more days for negotiations with the SLMM. They have decided to continue discussions on the bill on Thursday and Friday while holding talks. 

In the meeting, Prime Minister and UML Chairman KP Sharma Oli and other leaders from his party had demanded that the amendment process be started immediately. 

According to RRP-N Chief Whip Dil Nath Giri, there is also a possibility that the ruling parties, along with the NC, could take the bill forward with some revisions even if there is no deal with the Morcha in two days.

A total of 103 lawmakers from different parties have registered 24 proposals, seeking amendments to three Articles of the Constitution of Nepal, most of which are in a line with the demands of Madhes-based parties.

Amendments sought by NC leaders Bimalendra Nidhi and Farmullha Mansoor, Madhesi Janadhikar Forum-Loktantrik, Sanghiya Loktantrik Rastriya Manch (Tharuhat) and Nepali Janata Dal (NJD) address majority of the demands of the Morcha regarding proportional representation in state bodies and allocation of electoral constituencies.

Published: 20-01-2016 08:27

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