‘No discussion in party on statute amendment’

- SARIN GHIMIRE, Kathmandu

Nov 11, 2016-

Nepali Congress leaders have urged their leadership to discuss the constitution amendment proposal within the party and forge consensus with the opposition before tabling it in Parliament.

As the government has initiated dialogue with the CPN-UML and the Madhes-based parties with a view to tabling a constitution amendment proposal in a week, NC leaders have advised the government to at least take the main opposition into confidence in order to avoid any difficulty in passing the proposal later.

Former NC general secretary Krishna Prasad Sitaula noted that the party had not held any formal discussion 

on the amendment proposal so far. “There has not been any discussion yet. But I remain positive that the party leadership will seek our 

views before taking concrete steps like tabling the amendment proposal,” Sitaula told the Post.

The government has hinted at registering a statute amendment proposal in Parliament in a week as per the “spirit of the Interim Constitution”. NC leaders have strong reservations over reports of the government having prepared a constitution amendment draft that would allow naturalised citizens to hold constitutional positions after they spend 10 years in Nepal as permanent residents.

NC leader Ram Sharan Mahat pointed to the need for basic understanding between three major parties—NC, CPN (Maoist Centre) and the UML—before tabling the amendment proposal. “We’re not just looking to table the proposal, but pass it too. For that, we need to forge consensus among the three major forces,” said the former finance minister. He also clarified that the NC leadership was yet to hold discussion in the party on constitution amendment.

“We have not had any kind of talks, let alone revive some clauses of the Interim Constitution as reported in the media,” said Mahat.

The central committee meeting of the NC last month put constitution amendment as a top agenda of the party. However, the sudden registration of an impeachment proposal against Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority chief Lokman Singh Karki dominated the four-day session. Despite some leaders expressing their views on federal demarcation, citizenship, language and inclusive representation in the Upper House, leaders say any substantive dialogue on the demands put forth by the Madhesi and Janajati forces is yet to follow. Mahat urged Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal to present a clear statute amendment proposal before taking up the matter with the NC. “Once the proposal comes from the government, we could discuss it in the party for concrete suggestions,” said Mahat.

Published: 11-11-2016 08:16

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