Nepal govt to table Constitution amendment proposal in 3 days

Nepalese PM Prachanda's close aides said the proposal will address concerns of both Madhesi and Tharu communities.

By: PTI | Kathmandu | Published:November 23, 2016 8:19 pm
nepal, nepal constitution, nepal parliament, nepal pm, pushpa kamal dahal. prachanda constitution, nepal govt, india news Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ (Source: File/Reuters)

Seeking to end the political crisis over the new statute, Nepal government will table a Constitution amendment proposal in parliament within three days, with Prime Minister Prachanda planning to split a province to meet the demands of agitating parties, including Madhesis.

A tri-party meeting held among the ruling partners, the Madhesi Front and the Federal Alliance this morning agreed to amend table the proposal. An agreement has been reached to table a proposal for amending the country’s main law by incorporating the issues pertaining to the boundary of provinces, proportional representation in the National Assembly, citizenship and other technical ones, media reports said.

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Secretary of the major ruling party CPN (Maoist Centre) Barshaman Pun confirmed the meeting understanding to introduce the statute amendment proposal to the House within the next three days. “There was an understanding in the meeting that the government would table an amendment proposal regarding the constitution at the parliament being based on the discussions held in the meeting,” he said.

Minister for Physical Infrastructure and Transport Ramesh Lekhak said the meeting with the dissenting parties ended into a very positive note with the agreement on tabling an amendment proposal very soon. “The tri-party meeting went through discussions in a very cordial manner and ended positively. It has created trust on public sphere that the country would head towards the election soon with seeing a greater-acceptability of the constitution.”

Although, the Alliance has also given a positive comment on the meeting outcome, it said that it would support the Constitution implementation process by presenting their differing views as the ‘note of dissent’. Terai-Madhes Democratic Party’s senior Vice-Chair Hridayesh Tripathi said that his party has accepted the agreement on registering the constitution amendment proposal in the parliament.

“The Prime Minister has proposed to integrate Hill districts of Province 5 into Province 4 and Province 6. He prepared the proposal after consultation with some senior Madhesi leaders,” Kathmandu Post quoted a Maoist leader close to Prachanda as saying. Re-demarcation of the provincial boundary and citizenship issue are the two major demands put forth by the agitating Madhesi parties.

The minority, mostly of Indian-origin, has led months-long violent protest seeking better representation in the Parliament and the federal structure of the Constitution that divides their ancestral homeland.

Prachanda’s close aides said the proposal will address concerns of both Madhesi and Tharu communities. The Madhes-based parties have been demanding another province along the plains, besides Province 2, without Hill districts. Tharus have been making a pitch for a Tharuhat province. The government hopes to give final shape to the draft after consultation with the Madhesi parties.