KATHMANDU: A standing committee meeting of the CPN-UML today decided that some disputed issues of federalism, particularly naming and boundaries of federal units, could be left to the transitional Parliament, which will remain in force even after the dissolution of the Constituent Assembly after the promulgation of the new constitution, to decide.
UML leaders, after the meeting, said the parties had, in principle, agreed to carve out 11 federal units but have fallen short of reaching an understanding on their naming and boundaries. “We have agreed, in principle, to carve out 11 federal units, but we have not agreed on their naming and boundaries acceptable to all,” UML Vice-chairman Bamdev Gautam said.
He added that naming and boundaries of the proposed federal units could be settled by the transitional Parliament.
According to the Interim Constitution, the existing CA will be transformed into a transitional Parliament until a new federal Parliament replaces it with elections to be held under the new constitution.
“We will try to settle all the disputed issues related to federalism as much as possible,” said Gautam, adding: “If we fail to do so, due to time constraint, they can be left to the transitional to decide.”
Gautam also suggested formation of a high-powered commission to fine-tune the naming and boundaries of federal units.
Initially, the UML had pitched for seven federal units to be carved out on the basis of identity and economic capability, but later agreed for 11 units after the Maoists and NC gave the nod to it.
Asked to comment on the UML’s proposal, Raj Kishor Yadav, acting Chairman of MJF-Republic, also an ally of the United Democratic Madhesi Front, said all unsettled issues could not be left to the transitional Parliament.
“It appears that UML and NC’s intention is to buy more time to avoid the federalism issues,” said Yadav, adding: “But some minor issues related to the federalism could be addressed by forming a high-powered commission.”
Yadav said they were still pitching for either 14 federal units, proposed by the CA thematic Committee on State Restructuring and Distribution of State Power, or 10 federal units, proposed by a majority member of the government-formed State Restructuring Commission.
He said the naming and demarcation of the federal units must be settled by CA itself.