Parliament meeting postponed yet again

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Feb 23, 2017-Ruling alliance’s bid to take forward the constitution amendment bill fell through on Wednesday as the meeting of the Legislature-Parliament was postponed yet again after the opposition bloc held firm against holding discussions on the bill until it is assured that the Madhesi parties would accept any results in the voting.

At a Business Advisory Committee meeting held prior to a House meeting, the main opposition CPN-UML vowed to obstruct the business if the Speaker forwards the amendment bill without a firm assurance from the ruling and Madhesi parties on the matter. Seeing that the opposition bloc would not let the House to function, Speaker Onsari Gharti postponed the meeting for 3pm on Thursday issuing a notice. The meeting was called off in the similar fashion on Tuesday.

Earlier in the day, a meeting of the opposition bloc led by the UML had decided to continue the House obstruction until the ruling parties’ assurance on the matter. “It’s meaningless to take the amendment bill forward unless the Samyukta Loktantrik Madhesi Morcha agrees to accept the results of the voting on the bill,” UML Vice-chair Bhim Rawal told reporters after the eight-party meeting. At a nine-party meeting of the opposition bloc there was also agreement to reject the bill if it is put into the voting. 

The Morcha has been demanding amendment to the bill with a revision of the Local Level Restructuring Commission report, taking the representation of Tarai/Madhes to at least 45 percent from the existing 34 percent.

Currently, the opposition bloc has 201 lawmakers, a clear numerical advantage to stop the amendment from being endorsed by Parliament. Even if the Rastriya Prajatantra Party, which commands 37 seats, votes in favour of amendment, the governing alliance will still be three seats short of two-thirds majority (398) in 596-member strong Parliament.

The second amendment to the Constitution of Nepal which was registered in the House on November 29 last year is yet to be tabled for discussion.

Published: 23-02-2017 08:05

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