Morcha for amendment before fixing election date

- TIKA R PRADHAN, Kathmandu
Nidhi says meeting dwelt on announcing the poll date while working on the amendment bill after passing poll-related laws

Jan 14, 2017-The ruling coalition and the Samyukta Loktantrik Madhesi Morcha have agreed to make joint efforts to ensure that the amendment proposal tabled in Parliament gets through.

Sources claimed that both the Nepali Congress and the CPN (Maoist Centre) were confident that the main opposition would support the amendment proposal eventually. They, however, did not reveal any ground for the CPN-UML supporting the bill when the opposition parties are vehemently opposed to it.

The SLMM leaders had discussed with the ruling coalition the idea to form a taskforce to revise the amendment proposal but the coalition leaders were not much interested in it, said Maoist Centre Spokesperson Pampha Bhusal.

During the meeting held at the prime minister’s residence in Baluwatar on Thursday, Morcha leaders urged the government to pass the election-related bills and to announce the date for local elections only after Parliament decides the fate of the amendment proposal.

Following the meeting, Sadbhawana Party Chairman Rajendra Mahato said the SLMM would not take part in the polls without amending the constitution.

Deputy PM and Home Minister Bimalendra Nidhi said the discussion was focused on announcing the poll date while working on the amendment proposal after passing the poll-related bills.

Some leaders of the ruling parties claimed that the Morcha had changed its stance that it would accept the polls whether or not the amendments are passed. 

The government tabled the amendment proposal despite obstruction by nine opposition parties including the UML.

In an attempt to garner the two-thirds majority required to amend the constitution, the government is preparing to take the Rastriya Prajatantra Party and the Madhesi Janadhikar Forum-Loktantrik and some fringe parties into confidence by inducting their leaders as ministers. The Cabinet would be expanded after the PM returns from a visit to the UAE starting on Saturday.

At a time when the opposition parties have 201 votes, it would be a tough job for the ruling coalition to garner 396 votes in the 594-strong Parliament.

Madhesi Morcha leaders also opposed the appointment of justices claiming that it was not inclusive as provisioned by the new constitution. Sanghiya Samajbadi Forum Nepal Chairman Upendra Yadav said the appointment of justices was against the principle of inclusion.

Published: 14-01-2017 08:21

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