Gathabandhan asks panel on local body restructuring to stop work

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Jul 29, 2016-

The Sanghiya Gathabandhan, an alliance of Madhesi and Janajati parties, has demanded that the local body restructuring commission stop its work until contentious issues of the constitution are resolved. 

A meeting of the Gathabandan allies on Thursday concluded that the “activities being carried out by the commission is a design to prevent institutionalisation of federalism.” 

“We urge the commission not to carry out any activities unless the issues pertaining to the constitution are addressed,” reads a statement issued by Gathabandan Spokesperson Om Gurung after the meeting. 

The Gathabandhan announcement comes a day after the Nepali Congress and the CPN (Maoist Centre) agreed on a tentative plan to hold local polls by February-March after taking the disgruntled parties, including the Gathbandhan allies, into confidence.

The Gathabandan has also hinted at possibility of joining the new government if negotiations with the NC and the Maoist Centre “end on a positive note”.  “It is too early to take any decision on joining the government,” said Gurung in the statement, adding that the alliance, however, would continue its protest against the constitution. 

Many Gathabandan allies, mainly Madhes-based parties under the Samyukta Loktantrik Madhesi Morcha, have stood in favour of joining the government “after striking a symbolic deal on the remaining demands including redrawing the federal boundaries”.

Madhesi leaders are said to be under pressure from Birgunj-based business community who are unhappy with the regional parties for not pushing enough to provide compensation for the loss incurred during the five month-long border blockade.

Published: 29-07-2016 10:03

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