HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE
POKHARA: Nepali Congress President Sushil Koirala today said his party was firm about limiting the new Constituent Assembly strength to 491 members.
He also said he had urged the chairman of the interim election government Khil Raj Regmi to put in his papers as Chief Justice.
Talking to mediapersons in the Lake City, Koirala said his party was adamant on downsizing the CA’s number from 601 to 491 as per past political consensus.
“NC does not want to burden the country financially by retaining a jumbo CA of 601 members,” Koirala added.
He informed that the new CA would have 240 seats under the first-past-the-post system, 240 members under the proportional electoral system and the government would nominate the remaining 11 members.
Noting that frustration with political parties was ever increasing, Koirala argued that the jumbo CA would further erode people’s trust in the parties.
“If all the parties agree to the polls, Regmi must get prepared to step down from the post of CJ,” Koirala said.
On a different note, he clarified that his party was in support of keeping the one per cent PR threshold.
Stating that foreign countries would give status to parties garnering two per cent votes, Koirala said fringe parties in Nepal would be given opportunity to keep the threshold of one percent.
Koirala maintained that election was the only way to strengthen democracy and there was no alternative to it now.
He added that it would not in any way be justifiable to allow convicted people to contest the poll.
“Though the country has law that allows convicted people to contest election, it is not justifiable.”
In another context, Koirala stressed on the need to break the ‘four-party syndicate’ to offer a political outlet to the country.
Informing that he had initiated the process of incorporating the CPN-Maoist and Upendra Yadav-led party in the High Level Political Committee (HLPC), Koirala said it was necessary to include parties opposing the poll in the HLPC to create conducive environment for election.