Consensus bid still on

KATHMANDU, APR 23: Negotiators of three major political parties today dwelt on ending the constitution making deadlock.
A meeting held at Prime Minister Sushil Koirala’s residence today ended on a happy note with an understanding to find a solution before tomorrow’s CA meeting slated for 3:00pm.
First, the 30-party front of opposition parties will discuss the issues tomorrow morning and a meeting of major parties to be held before the CA meeting will try to find a solution, said Nepali Congress leader Purna Bahadur Khadka.
“Today’s discussions were very positive. Though nothing was concluded, we discussed various alternatives floated by different sides. Let’s hope we will be able to find a way out tomorrow,” Khadka said, adding, “The negotiators have agreed not to make any public comment on the contents discussed.” UML Chief Whip Agni Kharel said, “Talks are positive and I am unable to say anything more than this.” Shakti Basnet, a UCPN-M negotiator, said the parties were positive about promulgating the constitution through consensus. “We are trying our best to find a solution,” he said.
The parties are planning to forward the agreed issues to the Constitution Drafting Committee led by Krishna Prasad Sitaula for inclusion in the draft of the new constitution and to continue discussions on the name, number and boundaries of federal units.
“If the parties agree on the issues, except federalism tomorrow, they will request CA Chairman Subas Chandra Nembang to provide a minimum time to the Baburam Bhattarai-led Constitutional Political Dialogue and Consensus Committee to compile the agreed upon issues. Once the CPDCC forwards the compilation to the CA full House, it will forward them to the Sitaula-led committee for drafting. Only after the parties agree on the remaining issues of federalism, will the CDC prepare the complete first draft of the new statute,” said a negotiator on condition of anonymity.
At today’s meeting, Khadka, Narahari Acharya, Mahesh Acharya and Chin Kaji Shrestha attended the negotiation from NC; Bhim Rawal, Ishwor Pokharel and Agni Kharel from UML; and Krishna Bahadur Mahara, Top Bahadur Rayamajhi, Barshaman Pun and Basnet from UCPN-M. CA Chairman Nembang is planning to defer the CA meeting for April 29 or 30, keeping in view the Prime Minister’s return from Indonesia on April 28, according to sources.
He is planning a vote on disputed issues on the date to be fixed tomorrow, if the parties fail to reach consensus. If they agree on disputed issues before the date for voting, Nembang will cancel the voting process and introduce the agreed issues, according to sources. “If the parties give me the agenda before 3:00pm tomorrow, I will act accordingly. If not, I will announce the agenda of the next CA meeting tomorrow itself,” Nembang said.