Nepal | October 24, 2019

Government likely to register constitution amendment bill today

Himalayan News Service
Constituent Assembly Building decorated before President Ram Baran Yadav would announce Nepal's Constitution 2072 at 5 pm, on Sunday, September 20, 2015. Photo: RSS

Constituent Assembly Building decorated before President Ram Baran Yadav would announce Nepal’s Constitution 2072 at 5 pm, on Sunday, September 20, 2015. Photo: RSS

Kathmandu, October 6

The government is likely to register a bill at the Parliament tomorrow, seeking amendment to the new constitution on two issues — proportional inclusion in state organs and making population the major basis for delineation of electoral constituencies — to address the concerns of agitating Madhesi and indigenous communities.

“The Nepali Congress office bearers’ meeting held today discussed the issue of constitution amendment. The Ministry of Law, Constituent Assembly and Parliamentary Affairs is likely to register the bill tomorrow as per the public commitment made by top leaders of three major parties,” said NC spokesperson Dilendra Prasad Badu.

Sources at the ministry, however, said the government would decide whether or not to register the bill depending on the progress made in tomorrow’s talks with the talks team of the agitating Madhesi parties.

NC is pushing for tabling the amendment bill, while CPN-UML is against any amendment to the constitution for now.

The Cabinet, which is likely to sit tomorrow morning, will have to endorse the bill before it is tabled in the Parliament.

If the bill is registered tomorrow, it will be tabled at the Parliament meeting scheduled for October 9. It takes a minimum of 11-12 days to pass a bill if all procedures are followed after tabling it, as there are several steps, including providing three days to lawmakers for registering their amendments on such a bill, holding discussions and so on, according to Speaker Subas Chandra Nembang. A bill on constitution amendment should be published (through gazette) after it is tabled at the Parliament for people’s information, according to Article 274 (3) of the new constitution.

Unified CPN-Maoist Chief Whip Girirajmani Pokharel said the party would support passing the bill. “However, since we do not have sufficient time to pass the bill before the formation of the new government, we want the Parliament to pass a stricture motion expressing commitment to passing the bill now and also move ahead the bill for due process of the Parliament,” Pokharel said.

Proposed amendments

KATHMANDU: Amendment will be sought on at least three articles – Articles 42, 84 and 286. Participation of defined underprivileged groups in state bodies as per the principle of proportional inclusion will be proposed to be incorporated in Right to Social Justice of Article 42 under the fundamental rights. This is the demand mainly raised by the indigenous communities.

The provisions of Article 84 (1) (a) and Article 286 (5) and (6) mention that the 165 election constituencies will be delineated on the basis of geography and population. The amendment proposal will seek to amend the provision so as to make the population the major basis for delineating the election constituencies as was the case in the Interim Constitution 2007.

A version of this article appears in print on October 07, 2015 of The Himalayan Times.

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