- State that 16-point deal violates Interim Constitution
KATHMANDU: Five parties, including the four constituents of United Democratic Madhesi Front, today submitted a memorandum to President Ram Baran Yadav stating that the 16-point agreement signed by the four parties violated the spirit and provisions of the Interim Constitution and agreements signed with margnalised groups, including Madhesis in the past.
Tarai Madhes Democratic Party, Madhesi Janadhikar Forum-Nepal, Sadbhavana Party, Tarai Madhes Sadbhavana Party-Nepal and Federal Socialist Party-Nepal submitted the memo to the President stating that the Head of State is also the patron of the constitution and has a duty to ensure compliance with constitutional provisions while drafting the constitution.
These parties said the 16-point pact mentioned forming a Federalism Commission and settling the issues of federalism through a transformed Parliament. This, they said, violates Article 138 and 82 of the Interim Constitution.
They argued that as per Article 138 of the Interim Constitution all issues related to federalism should be settled by the CA itself and not by a transformed Parliament. They also said the fast-track process adopted after the 16-point deal curtailed the rights of the sovereign CA, violated the agreement reached in the first CA, eight agreements signed with UDMF and the 22-point agreement signed with MJF-N and other agreements signed with indigenous nationalities and marginalised communities in the past.
They said they would not accept the constitution if it was based on the 16-point pact for it would negate the aspirations of Madhesis, Janajatis, Tharus, Dalits, OBCs, women, Muslims, minorities and other marginalised communities, who want equal rights, and protection of their identity, guarantee of inclusion and autonomous state in the constitution. They said the proposal to form a Federal Commission was against Article 82 of the Interim Constitution which says that the business of the CA shall end on the day of the commencement of the constitution passed by the CA.
They urged the President to intervene as patron of the constitution to make sure that the constitution is framed by the CA without infringing upon the preamble, directive principles and the spirit of the Interim constitution.
The President told the leaders he would consult experts on their memo.Meanwhile, Prime Minister Sushil Koirala called these leaders at his residence and urged them to support the efforts to promulgate the constitution as per the 16-point pact.
Mahato said the PM assured that their concerns would be addressed if the new constitution was promulgated on the basis of the 16-point pact.
“We told the PM we cannot accept the 16-point agreement. Any attempt to postpone the federalism issue is a ploy. If the signatories of the 16-point pact are honest about federalism, why are they not settling all federalism related issues now, why do they want to settle some issues later? Mahato wondered. He said these parties would deny federalism on one pretext or the other after the constitution was promulgated.