South Asia

‘Understanding’ on Constitution broken, general strike on in Nepal

A day after claiming that they reached “understanding” on three of the four major contentious subjects of the new Constitution, Nepal’s political parties on Monday did not reach an agreement on them.

The Nepali Congress and the CPN-UML leaders accused UCPN (Maoist) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal a.k.a. Prachanda of going back on the “understanding” reached by four political forces on Sunday. The alliance of opposition parties, led by the UCPN (Maoist), meanwhile, said it would go ahead with its planned nation-wide bandh called for Tuesday. The alliance has around 30 parties, most of them small and without any representation in the Constituent Assembly.

Mr. Dahal said the opposition parties would be willing to go for the process (of voting) on the disputed issue model of governance if there was an agreement on state restructuring. Addressing a press conference in the capital on the bandh, he said there was hardly any dispute over the electoral system and judiciary.

The ruling parties, which have more than the required two-thirds majority in the Assembly, expressed their willingness to decide the disputes through voting if consensus failed, as envisaged in the Interim Constitution. In March 2014, all the political parties represented in the CA agreed to such a provision. The manifestos of the parties, including those of the UCPN (Maoist) and the Madhesi Janadhikar Forum (Loktantrik) also spoke of adopting the “democratic process of voting if consensus failed.

The major dispute, like during the first CA, is around federal restructuring. While the negotiations have intensified on the number, name and boundary of the new states, the deal is still elusive. The deadline to promulgate the Constitution is January 22.

Meanwhile, the younger MPs from the ruling parties asked Constituent Assembly Chairman Subas Nembang to call the meeting of the Assembly to take the process (of voting on the Constitution) forward. Mr. Nembang assured them that while efforts to forge consensus by the parties was on, he would convene a meeting of then CA and begin the formal process by midnight Monday if necessary.

On Friday, 414 lawmakers in the 601-member CA submitted signatures to Mr. Nembang in favour of the process.

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Printable version | Nov 27, 2021 9:44:11 AM |

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