KATHMANDU, July 25
Top leaders of Nepali Congress, CPN-UML, Unified CPN-Maoist and Madhesi Janadhikar Forum-Democratic, on Saturday discussed how best to address people’s suggestions on the draft constitution.
To this end, they have decided to make efforts to bring dissenting parties, mainly Madhes-based parties on board.
The leaders went beyond the 16-point deal of June 8 and discussed whether the boundaries of federal units could be demarcated before delivering the new constitution, said sources, adding, “They also expressed their views on whether they ought to go for directly elected chief executive instead of the Westminster system and whether to include religious freedom instead of secularism.”
However, the meeting ended inconclusively. It will continue tomorrow morning, according to sources.
“We are working on how to review the draft constitution on the basis of people’s feedback,” said Bijay Kumar Gachhadar after the meeting.
Earlier this morning, the top leaders held separate discussions with CA Chairman Subas Chandra Nembang and decided to prepare a calendar of operation for delivering the new statute by August 17, said UCPN-M Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal.
“The leaders expressed readiness to promulgate the new constitution on August 16 or 17. I have urged them to accommodate people’s feedback and the concerns of dissident groups in the new statute as far as possible,” Nembang said after the meeting held at his office in Singha Durbar.
Nembang also suggested that the leaders of the major parties hold separate meetings with dissident parties.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Sushil Koirala said that talks were being held with dissident groups including Madhes-based parties and even Mohan Baidhya-led CPN-Maoist that is outside the CA to incorporate their concerns in the new constitution as far as possible.
“We are making attempts to conclude the issue of demarcation of federal units before promulgating the new constitution and we are very positive about people’s suggestions,” Koirala said, talking to a group of journalists at his residence in Baluwatar this morning.
A version of this article appears in print on July 26, 2015 of The Himalayan Times.