House postponed again after parties pledge deal

- Binod Ghimire, Kathmandu
Opposition parties had requested the Speaker to wait until they are done with their mass meeting

Jan 4, 2017-The meeting of Legislature-Parliament has been postponed for five days after the parties sought time to intensify negotiations on the constitution amendment bill, assuring the Speaker that the House would function smoothly from Sunday.

Speaker Onasari Gharti postponed the meeting following the request from the Business Advisory Committee on Tuesday. In the meeting attended by top leaders from the parties represented in Parliament, both the ruling and opposition sides softened their stances following the Supreme Court ruling which cleared the way for the government to table the amendments in Parliament.

The opposition has been obstructing the House for a month claiming that the proposed amendments are against “national interests”.

Gharti said she agreed to wait for five days after the opposition assured her of finding a way out by Sunday. She claimed that former Speaker and deputy Parliamentary Party leader of the main opposition CPN-UML Subas Nembang assured her that there would be no obstruction from Sunday.

“I am hopeful that the parties will keep their words,” Gharti told the media after issuing a notice of meeting postponement. “The court has opened the door for us to proceed with our business.” She said the parties would either forge consensus or allow Parliament to decide the matter through a vote. 

Opposition parties had requested the Speaker to wait until they are done with their scheduled demonstration on Friday. Nine opposition parties are set to organise a mass meeting against the amendment bill in the Capital. They have announced to parade around 100,000 cadres and supporters on the streets. 

The parties are set to consult with legal experts over the court’s order. According to sources, the ruling coalition was also considering whether to withdraw the proposal to redraw the boundaries of some provinces from the bill.

The court hinted that boundary revision is impossible without the provincial parliaments endorsing it as provisioned by Article 274 of the constitution.

In the meeting, the Rastriya Prajatantra Party had proposed reviving the High Level Mechanism to find solutions to contentious issues and creating an environment for forming an all-party government. However, the matter was not discussed.

Published: 04-01-2017 09:59

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