Provinces’ demarcation completion within a year

Federal Commission for delineating provinces to be formed six months after statute comes out

Kathmandu, September 5

The three major parties today agreed to form a federal commission to finalise boundaries of federal provinces to be formed as per the upcoming constitution, within a year.

However, Unified CPN-M leaders said they were not happy with the deal as it did not address the issues of agitating Madhesi and Tharu forces.

Madhesi Janadhikar Forum-Democratic, a constituent of the Special Committee formed by the Constitutional Political Dialogue and Consensus Committee opposed the three parties’ agreement and walked out of the constitution making process.

As the four-party talks failed, MJF-D led alliance — Federal Democratic Alliance — held an urgent meeting and decided to quit the constitution making process and intensify the agitation against the draft constitution along with Tharuhat-Tharuwan Joint Struggle Committee.

Following the meeting, senior UML leader Madhav Nepal said the three parties have agreed to form a federal commission to finalise all the impending issues of demarcation within a year.

He said secularism would remain in the constitution with explanations. UCPN-M has been sticking to secularism while NC and UML are opposed it.

Contrary to UCPN-M’s proposal, the three parties agreed to establish a separate bench within the Supreme Court instead of a separate Constituent Assembly Court.

Four constitutional commissions will be formed for Madhesi, Janajati, Muslim and Tharu, with a provision for reviewing them every ten years.

UML chief whip Agni Kharel said there would be two categories of constitutional commission, including the existing full-fledged commissions and new ones with limited powers.

NC Chief Whip Chin Kaji Shrestha said the Federal Commission will be formed within six months after the promulgation of the constitution and the Commission will resolve issues of demarcation within a year.

While leaving the three-party meeting to attend the parliamentary party meeting, UCPN-M Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal said the parties had not agreed on any issue.

CPDCC Chairman and senior UCPN-M leader Baburam Bhattarai said, “At least we have secured republican set up, federalism, secularism and inclusive and proportional democracy.”

Posting a status in social media, Bhattarai said wise people give up one half when the threat is such that everything can be lost. “Showing utmost flexibility, Unified CPN-Maoist today made another compromise to pave the way for the new constitution at a time when there is uncertainty that the constitution will be promulgated from the Constituent Assembly and the risk of losing all the achievements of revolutionary movements looms large,” Bhattarai posted in social media.

When asked for comments, MJF-D Chair Bijay Kumar Gachhadar, who had walked out of the four-party meeting, refused to say anything.

His General Secretary Ram Janam Chaudhary, however, said the meeting of the alliance decided to boycott the CA and intensify the movement along with the Tharus, as the three major parties did not paid any heed to their demands.

UCPN-M Chief Whip Giriraj Mani Pokhrel said his party has been registering differing views.

“Our issues will be registered as amendment proposals,” he said, adding that the Gachhadar-led alliance has left the constitution drafting process, but they will be brought back by the time the constitution is promulgated.

“We have even agreed and signed on issues that were against our views for the sake of the constitution,” Pokhrel said. He further said his party was not happy with the deal as that had failed to incorporate the party’s demands, including the essence of secularism with a proposed explanation.