Constitution unlikely to be revised soon: UML leaders

- Post Report, Kathmandu
Gyawali says there must be consensus among major forces on Madhesi parties’ demand for amendments

Jan 28, 2018-The CPN-UML has said that chances of amending the constitution to address the demands of the Madhes-based parties are slim in the near future.

At a time when the Madhes-based parties have made constitutional amendment as a precondition to supporting the left alliance in government formation, UML leaders have dismissed such possibility, clarifying that their position on constitution amendment mainly to address the concerns of Madhes-based parties remains unchanged.

“We are not rigid against amending the constitution. We initiated it with the first amendment. We are of the view that there must some convincing reasons and 

justification for amending the constitution,” UML leader Pradeep Gyawali told the Post.

Countering the claims of Madhes-based parties that their call for statutory changes was endorsed by the people, Gyawali said the major parties Nepali Congress, CPN-UML and the Madhes-based parties had received an equal share of votes in Province 2, a predominantly Madhesi region, in the recently concluded elections to the House of Representatives and the provincial assemblies.

“Constitution amendment cannot happen only because the Madhes-based parties are raising it. There must be consensus among all the parties,” Gyawali added.

Gyawali was of the view that the parties will have to wait for some time for new structures to take shape. “We have just started the federal structure. We have to wait and see how it evolves in the future. A change in demarcation of federal states is not possible now,” Gyawali said.

In order to garner a two-thirds majority in the federal parliament, which is a must for amending the constitution, the left alliance is holding consultations with the Madhes-based parties. The Madhesi alliance of the Sanghiya Samajbadi Forum-Nepal and the Rastriya Janata Party, Nepal maintains that its demand for constitution amendment must be addressed for the left alliance of the UML and the CPN (Maoist Centre) to win support.

Speaking at a programme in Pokhara on Friday, UML Chairman KP Sharma Oli said there would be a two-thirds majority in favour of the new government if the Madhes-based parties joined it. Stating that the UML was ready to amend the constitution, Oli, however, said there must be valid reasons for changes in the law of the land.

The former prime minister charged the Madhes-based parties with being in a state of confusion over statute revision. “Please come forward and explain the weaknesses of the constitution when it comes to giving people their rights,” said Oli. There are charges against the UML that the party is not serious about addressing the issues of Madhes-based parties.

Published: 28-01-2018 07:52

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