Gathabandhan calls on UML to honour SC ruling

- ROSHAN SEDHAI, Kathmandu
Madhesi and Janajati forces have also warned the government not to go to local polls before the constitution amendment

Jan 5, 2017-The Sanghiya Gathabandhan, an alliance of Madhesi and Janajati parties, have urged the main opposition CPN-UML to honour the Supreme Court’s ruling and let the constitution amendment bill make its way into Parliament. 

A meeting of the Gathabandhan allies on Wednesday concluded that the apex court on Monday paved the way for the proposed charter revision by denying a stay order against taking the constitution amendment bill to Parliament.  

A division bench of Chief Justice Sushila Karki and Justice Ishwor Prasad Khatiwada on Monday refused to issue an interim order against forwarding the bill in Parliament for deliberations, arguing that such a move would infringe upon the principle of separation of powers and prevent the sovereign Parliament from using its wisdom in the legislation process. 

Nonetheless, the ruling Maoist Centre-Nepali Congress alliance and the main opposition UML have interpreted the court ruling differently.  “The UML doesn’t have the right to disrupt Parliament and prevent deliberations on the constitution amendment bill. It should respect the SC’s ruling instead of twisting words to serve its petty interests,” Sanghiya Samajbadi Forum Nepal Chairman Upendra Yadav, also the coordinator of the Gathabandhan, told the Post. 

The Gathabandhan meeting also warned the government against plans to go to local elections before constitution amendment. The bill should be passed in its present form, the alliance said. 

Gathabandhan’s warning comes at a time when interlocutors from three major parties are exploring multiple options to end the current stalemate. 

One of the options they are mulling over is removing the clause related to boundaries from the bill. Some have even suggested that the bill be forwarded for deliberations and election dates be announced without putting the bill to vote. “The bill should be passed in its present form. We will not accept the amendment if the clause on boundaries is removed,” said Sadbhawana Party Chairman Rajendra Mahato.

Madhesi leaders in touch with the NC and the Maoist Centre have expressed hope that the bill would be put to vote before going to elections. 

Many Madhesi leaders are reaching out to various political parties, including Rastriya Prajatantra Party and Madhesi Janaadhikar Forum Loktantrik (MJF-L), seeking support on behalf of the amendment bill. 

MJF-L General Secretary Ram Janam Chaudhary said that his party, which is the largest regional party representing Tharu and Madhesi constituencies, would take an appropriate decision after “analysing the situation”.  

“Last week, the parliamentary committee of our party concluded that the proposed demarcation does not address the demands of Tharu and Madhesi constituencies. It is important to resolve the dispute over Kailali and Kanchanpur and Jhapa and Sunsari for a lasting solution to the Madhes crisis,” said Chaudhary. 

Published: 05-01-2017 07:59

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