Madhesi parties not to join next govt until constitution amendment assurance

- Post Report, Kathmandu
UML’s refusal to amend the constitution led the Madhes-centric parties to ally with the NC for the National Assembly polls

Jan 25, 2018-A day after negotiations fell through in forming a coalition with the left alliance for the National Assembly election, the Madhes-based parties on Wednesday said there would be no partnership with the alliance in any form until it agrees on the agenda of constitution amendment.

The left alliance was the first priority for the Sanghiya Samajbadi Forum-Nepal and the Rastriya Janata Party-Nepal to form a coalition for the NA election. But the two rounds of negotiations fell through as the CPN-UML refused to agree in the constitution amendment--a major condition of the Madhesi parties for the coalition. Along with the formation of the electoral alliance, the Madhesi parties had sought UML’s agreement in amendment to revise the provincial boundaries, among others.

However, the UML refused to agree on amendment which left the Madhesi parties with no option but to knock on the Nepali Congress door. Subsequently, the Madhes-based parties forged an alliance with the NC for the National Assembly election. 

Senior RJP-N leader Rajendra Mahato ruled out any partnership with the left alliance until it agrees to make amendments to the constitution.

Asked if there was any chance that the Madhesi parties would join a new government, Mahato said: “There isn’t any possibility of us joining the government unless we first get assurance of constitution amendment. 

“Some UML leaders say in public that they are not against proposed constitution amendment, but they always perform a total volte-face during negotiations,” he said. 

An amendment to the constitution requires a two-thirds majority in Parliament and support of the UML, which has emerged as the largest party in the recent elections, is crucial.

The formation of the new government will begin once the results of the Upper House election are out. The Madhesi parties have long been demanding for amendments to different articles in the constitution, mainly the revision of the provincial boundary. On the other hand, the UML has been opposed to such amendments. 

Mahato, however, maintained that the Madhes-based parties had not burnt the bridge, saying that despite the failed bid for the NA election coalition they are open to future negotiations with the UML.

Published: 25-01-2018 07:33

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