Ruling alliance rules out statute revision

  • Makes it clear to RJP-Nepal leaders that it lacks required numbers
- Post Report, Kathmandu

Jul 12, 2017-After the CPN-UML refused to budge from its stance, the governing parties on Tuesday made it clear to the Rastriya Janata Party-Nepal (RJP-N) that an amendment to the constitution is not possible, as they don’t have the required numbers in Parliament.

During a meeting on Tuesday morning at Baluwatar, the UML told the ruling Nepali Congress and CPN (Maoist Centre) that it would not support the constitution amendment bill which is currently in Parliament. 

The UML-led opposition bloc commands 196 seats in Parliament, and without its support, the government cannot secure the required two-thirds majority to pass the constitution amendment bill. 

The NC and Maoist Centre during a meeting with the RJP-N later in evening briefed the latter about the outcome of their meeting with the UML leadership.

The governing parties, however, have expressed their commitment to fulfil the RJP-N’s other demands including withdrawing cases against leaders and cadres in connection with the Tharuhat and Madhes movements, declaring those killed during the protests martyrs and compensation to the inured. They have also told RJP-N leaders that they would work to increase the number of local units in Province 2. 

“We made our position clear to the RJP-N that constitution amendment bill cannot be passed at this moment,” said senior Maoist Centre leader Narayan Kaji Shrestha.

The RJP-N, which did not participate in the first phase of local elections held on May 14, had boycotted the second round held on June 28. The third round of local polls is scheduled for September 18 in Province 2. 

With the governing parties now saying constitution amendment is not possible, the RJP-N is in some sort of a fix, as it had been saying it would not participate in the third phase unless its statute revision was addressed.

The governing parties, however, believe the RJP-N would participate in the September 18 polls, as they have decided to address the agitating party’s other demands. As a last-ditch effort, the RJP-N leadership, however, is planning to hold talks with the UML. 

 “We will do our best to secure votes in favour of constitution amendment,” said Sharat Singh Bhandari, a senior RJP-N leader. 

The RJP-N, which came into being in April after the merger of six Madhes-based parties, has gone through a tough time in the last three months. It appears a divided house, especially after its decision to boycott the second round of polls, with some of its leaders from the western parts questioning the party’s move of not participating in the elections.  

A section of leaders has been riled by Tuesday’s development. 

Rajendra Mahato, another senior RJP-N leader, is learnt to have taken a firm position of making constitution amendment a pre-requisite for the party’s participation in September 18 polls. 

Published: 12-07-2017 07:46

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