UML urges govt to move in consensus

  • Main opposition hints at ending month-long obstruction of Parliament
- TIKA R PRADHAN, Kathmandu

Jan 4, 2017-The main opposition CPN-UML has claimed that the constitution amendment bill registered at the Parliament Secretariat lost significance following the Supreme Court’s verdict, urging the government to withdraw it.

A Standing Committee meeting of the second largest party held at the residence of party Chairman KP Sharma Oli on Tuesday concluded that there was no point in deliberating on redrawing the federal boundaries as sought by the amendment bill following the court’s ruling. The party has been on the warpath over the proposal to split Province 5, obstructing Parliament since November 29.

A division of the apex court ruled that amending the constitution is the business of Parliament, cautioning the parties, however, that any revisions must not be inconsistent with the charter adopted last year.

Welcoming the apex court verdict of Monday, the meeting also called on the government to withdraw the constitution amendment proposal registered in Parliament and move ahead in the spirit of political consensus.

Interpreting the ruling, the party said “the apex court’s decision has given more reasons to withdraw the bill” as any changes in demarcation of the provinces would be invalid without the approval of the state assemblies.

But the party has not decided whether it will roll back its decision to resume the House proceedings or continue to obstruct it. Leaders, however, say they are under moral pressure to let the House function following the court’s order.

The party has decided to sit with the ruling and other opposition parties before taking a decision in the regard. Leaders said the UML may lift the obstruction of Parliament but will seek consensus on demarcation of provincial boundaries.

In the changed political context, the UML also decided to take further steps only after consulting with the parties represented in Parliament, the alliance of opposition parties and other stakeholders.

“However, the UML respects the Supreme Court’s verdict, which means the main opposition will not continue obstruction of Parliament,” said party Secretary Prithvi Subba Gurung. In the meeting of the UML Parliamentary Party that followed, Chairman Oli said the verdict has highlighted the urgency of consensus among the parties but the role of the ruling coalition would determine its next move.

A meeting of the nine opposition parties later decided to strengthen the ongoing protests against the constitution amendment proposal. Oli directed all the party members to focus on Friday’s mass meeting in the Capital.

Published: 04-01-2017 07:57

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