Keep people’s welfare in mind, prez tells leaders

Kathmandu, August 15

President Ram Baran Yadav held a dinner meeting with the chiefs of four parties and the chairperson of the Constitutional Political Dialogue and Consensus Committee and urged them to keep the welfare of people at the centre as far as the boundaries of the provinces were concerned.

The president’s Press Adviser Rajendra Dahal said the head of State told the leaders that the interests of a particular party or leaders should not dominate federalism issues, but the issues of people’s welfare, progress, justice and equality should dominate the federalism debate.

The president thanked the leaders for working day and night to complete the constitution making process and told them not to unnecessarily curtail the Constituent Assembly members’ right to express their opinion on the draft constitution’s provisions.

According to Dahal, the president thanked the leaders for respecting the Supreme Court’s interim order by delineating the boundaries of provinces.

“You are free to accept or reject my suggestions, but I think I should share my concerns with you and suggest what would be in the best interest of our country,” Dahal quoted the president as telling the leaders.

The president told the leaders that there were too many fundamental rights in the draft constitution and they needed to think whether the country would be able to fulfil all the obligations that these rights could place on the state.

According to a source, the president also told the leaders that some good amendments were made in the draft constitution, but there were still some other provisions, particularly those related to constitutional bodies and the judiciary that needed to be amended.

According to the source, the president told the leaders that the autonomy of constitutional bodies and independence of judiciary should not be compromised in the constitution.

The president told the leaders that the provision of the draft constitution that bars lawmakers from moving a no-trust motion in Parliament could become problematic.

“Think of a situation where a lawmaker cannot move a no-trust motion and the prime minister cannot get the government’s policies and programmes and the fiscal budget endorsed by the House. This will be a real deadlock,” the source quoted the president as telling leaders.

Dahal said the president summoned the leaders also to take first-hand information on the constitution making process.

According to Dahal’s Personal Secretary Chudamani Khadka, after the meeting with the president, the UCPN-M chair said the president was very positive about the constitution.

“Although the president regularly holds discussion with the prime minister, he cannot get all the information on the constitution making process from the PM. This is the reason he called the leaders for a meeting today,” Dahal said.