Parliamentary arithmetic and political equation at the moment suggest that the Constitution amendment bill moved by the government that says it is is aimed to address the demands of Madhesi Front may not have the required two third majority in the parliament. But given the fact that Nepal’s politics is more power oriented, and less principled, a last minute ‘Lenden’ (give and take) can not be ruled out.
The two major constituents in the ruling coalition–Maoists and the Nepali Congress–together constitute 287, short of another 110 votes for a two third majority. The Rastriya Prajatantra Party and the Rastriya Prajatantra Party-Nepal which recently merged as the RPP-N remain non-committal on the issue despite its being a part of the ruling coalition. The Unified Party has 37 members in parliament, but it decided that its support will be condition.
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“If the government incorporates our view—restoring Nepal’s status as a Hindu nation once again–we will be supporting the bill,” a senior leader of the party said. The two parties which merged three weeks ago had agreed ‘Hindu Nepal’ as a common agenda leaving its nationwide delegation session due in second half of January to decide on whether the Party should endorse a ‘Republic Nepal’ or restoration of ‘constitutional Monarchy’.
There are very remote chances of the government compromising on the ‘secular’ status of the constitution, but what is equally doubtful is will the Maoists and the Nepali Congress take a stand for a change and risk the government? The main opposition, Communist Party of Nepal-Unified Marxist Leninist and the RPP-N combining against the constitution amendment bill, on the other hand, will defeat the bill that may lead to the fall of the government. “Prime Minister Dahal will not resign under any circumstances,” asserts Maoist Party Spokesperson Pampha Bhusal. A section of the RPP-N is insisting that it should walk away from the government before the bill is voted in parliament.
Dahal however, is still interacting with the main opposition UML,as well as the RPP telling them to move their ‘amendments’ to the bill , but as parties have mostly settled their ‘interests’ through ‘deals’ outside in the past one decade of transition, Parliament may not be that effective in offering a solution to the vexed issue before it.