Ruling coalition expedites talks

- Post Report, Kathmandu
A Maoist Centre leader says the ruling coalition will push the amendment bill before Cabinet expansion

Jul 9, 2017-A day after assuring the Rastriya Janata Party-Nepal an all-out effort to address its concerns, including an amendment to the constitution, the Nepali Congress and the CPN (Maoist Centre)—the key coalition partners—on Saturday expedited talks in a bid to secure a two-thirds majority in Parliament to pass the constitution amendment bill. 

A revised constitution amendment bill is already in Parliament, but the governing parties lack the required numbers to get it endorsed.

As part of their efforts to secure the required numbers, the governing parties on Saturday held talks with the Rastriya Prajatantra Party, the fourth largest party in Parliament with 37 seats. 

The RJP-N, which did not participate in the first phase of local election held on May 14, boycotted the second round held on June 28. The party on Friday applied at the Election Commission for registration in a step towards its participation in the third phase of polls scheduled for September 18 in Province 2. It, however, has said it will not take part in the polls if its demand of constitution amendment is not addressed. 

The governing parties seem to be in a hurry to push the constitution amendment bill, as Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba has not been able to expand his Cabinet even a month after assuming office. With the Maoist Centre already making it clear that there are no issues from the party regarding the Cabinet expansion, Deuba is under mounting pressure.

Maoist Centre leader Barshaman Pun, who is engaged in the ongoing dialogue, said the governing coalition is preparing to push the revised amendment bill in Parliament before Cabinet expansion. 

During a meeting called by PM Deuba at Baluwatar on Saturday morning, leaders of the governing parties sought to know opinions from RPP leaders Kamal Thapa and Pashupati Shumsher JB Rana on constitution amendment. Deuba and Dahal also urged the RPP leaders to join the government and support the constitution amendment bill. During the previous attempt by then prime minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal to garner 396 votes in Parliament, 10 RPP lawmakers had stood against the constitution amendment bill. 

But the support of the RPP alone will not be sufficient to pass the bill. It is believed that the NC-Maoist alliance is in a bid to bring some fringe parties into the fold in return for ministerial berths.  

Published: 09-07-2017 07:47

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