Constitution amendment proposal to be put on hold


KATHMANDU, July 11: The constitution amendment proposal will now be acted upon only after the third round of local-level election as two-third majority was not likely. This was the result after a meeting of top leaders of three major political parties failed to forge a consensus in this regard.

During a meeting called by Prime Minister Sher Bhadur Deuba at his official residence at Baluwatar on Tuesday morning, top leaders of major political parties failed to forge consensus over the issue of constitution amendment.

The ruling parties would reach to a conclusion after holding further discussion with the Rastriya Janata Party Nepal (RJPN) over the issue. The main opposition party, CPN-UML asked the government to forward the constitution amendment bill only after election of all the levels.

The meeting focused on various options –taking the constitution amendment bill for voting, putting it on hold or passing it by seeking more support.

On the occasion, Nepali Congress (NC) leader Bimalendra Nidhi said although the government was ready to forward the process in order to garner two-thirds majority in favor of constitution amendment, consultation will now be held with the RJPN as the CPN-UML and Rastriya Prajatantra Party denied supporting it.

“The government is committed to holding election of all levels on the scheduled date. It also wants to amend the constitution before the elections. However, it is difficult to forward the amendment process at a time when there is no two-thirds majority for the same. But we will go for election after creating environment of political consensus.”

The meeting was organized on account of the preparations by the ruling party to amend the constitution in a bid to take the disgruntled RJPN onboard the third round of local level elections slated in Province 2 for September 18.

The UML has been protesting some issues of the amendment proposal including the redrawing of provincial boundaries, arguing that the amendment would not be in nation’s interest.

Stating that the UML would agree to the constitution amendment by necessity only after the third rounds of polls, UML Vice Chairman Bhim Bahadur Rawal said the amendment, if pushed forward unilaterally, would not be acceptable to the UML. He also drew the attention of the government to form the Constituency Determination Commission at the earliest.

Likewise, CPN (Maoist Center) leader Narayan Kaji Shrestha said the issue of the constitution amendment would be concluded after holding additional consultations with the RJPN especially in the context that the UML has asked to not move ahead with the amendment proposal for the time being.

The meeting was also attended by PM Deuba, also NC President, NC senior leader Ram Chandra Poudel, UML Chairman KP Sharma Oli, leader Madhav Kumar Nepal, parliamentary party deputy leader Subas Nembang, CPN (Maoist Center) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ and leader Ram Bahadur Thapa. RSS