HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE
KATHMANDU: Leaders of the Nepali Congress and CPN-UML today held informal meeting at the latter’s parliamentary office in Singha Durbar to discuss forms of governance, federalism, election system, judiciary and citizenship issues, the most contentious ones related to new constitution.
At the end of the meeting, UML leader Surendra Pandey said they mainly tried to find common ground on forms of governance and federalism.
Pandey said UML asked NC leaders either to convince the UCPN-Maoist on parliamentary system of democracy or they needed to be convinced with the UML-proposed directly elected prime minister with the provision of constitutional president.
UCPN-Maoist is in favour of directly elected president. Pandey said they also explored the possibility of finding common ground on mixed system (directly elected president and prime minister elected by Parliament with most state powers vested with the prime minister, a system which is in practice in Finland).
The mixed system was proposed by a five-member task force, led by Sadbhavana Party CA member Laxman Lal Karn, formed by the Constitutional Committee’s Problem Resolution Sub-Committee.
“But NC President Sushil Koirala said that it would create more complications if the state powers were shared between the president and prime minister,” Pandey said. Pandey claimed that directly elected prime minister along with constitutional president, who is elected by electoral colleges, can be a meeting point on the forms of governance as this system would give ‘political stability’ and help ‘end dictatorship’.
NC leader Arjun Narshing KC, however, said Parliament-elected prime minister and president to be elected through electoral colleges could also give stability and end the possibility of dictatorship.
Another NC leader Narahari Acharya, who has championed directly elected prime minister along with constitutional president, said they mainly discussed the number of federal units on identity basis.
Acharya said identity is not only associated with ethnicity and language of a particular community. “It should be construed as an overall issue based on which the federal units must be carved out,” he said. Acharya and Pandey both said the major parties, including the UCPN-Maoist, had agreed to carve out between six to eight federal units.