Ruling parties intensify efforts to ensure passage

Kathmandu, July 8

The ruling Nepali Congress and the CPN-Maoist Centre have intensified efforts to muster two-third majority in the Parliament to ensure passage of the constitution amendment bill.

A day after the NC and the CPN-MC held talks with the agitating Rastriya Janata Party-Nepal on constitutional issues, Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba and CPN-MC Chair Pushpa Kamal Dahal held talks with Rastriya Prajatantra Party leaders Kamal Thapa and Pashupati Shamsher JB Rana and sought help to pass the constitution amendment bill.

According to a press release issued by Dahal’s secretariat, top leaders of ruling parties sought to know RPP’s views on the constitution amendment bill. RPP leaders told Deuba and Dahal they were positive about the bill.

Rana told THT he was positive about amending the constitution from the very beginning. He said his party had called a meeting of the parliamentary party tomorrow to decide on the issue.

Rana said if his party supported the constitution amendment bill, then it would easily be  passed.

Thapa’s aide Mohan Shrestha said the PM told RPP leaders that passing the bill was necessary to bring the RJP-N on board the election process. He said the ruling parties also requested RPP leaders to join the government. “Our party will join the government if it is given a respectable position,” he added.

The ruling coalition partners wanted to put the constitution amendment bill to vote on April 30, but backed out after almost a dozen RPP lawmakers did not attend the party’s parliamentary party meeting to decide on the issue.

In the prime ministerial election held in the Parliament on June 6, Deuba had secured 388 votes, eight short of two-third majority in the 593-member Parliament. The RPP, with 35 lawmakers, had supported Deuba’s premiership.

Nepali Congress has 207 lawmakers in the Parliament, CPN-MC 81, RPP 35, Nepal Democratic Forum 14, RJP-N 25, Federal Socialist Forum-Nepal 15, CPN-United 3, Samajbadi Janata Dal 1 and Akhanda Nepal Party 1. Lawmakers from these parties had voted for Deuba in the prime ministerial election.

Main opposition CPN-UML and some fringe parties had voted against Deuba then. Nepal Parivar Dal, which has two lawmakers in the Parliament, had not voted for or against Deuba.