Nepal | September 24, 2020

Voting on bill to amend constitution likely today

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The House of Representatives has been working to put the government’s constitution amendment bill to vote tomorrow.

This bill seeks to amend Schedule 3 of the constitution to update the national emblem by incorporate Limpiyadhura, Lipulekh and Kalapani in Nepal’s map. Passage of the bill is certain as the opposition Nepali Congress and Janata Samajwadi Party-Nepal have expressed their support for the government bill. Two thirds majority is required to pass the bill.

Spokesperson for the Parliament Secretariat Rojnath Pandey said the House will hold a deliberation on the bill in the first hour tomorrow and put the bill to vote at the end of the debate. “We are working to put the bill to vote even if the debate tomorrow takes time,”

Pandey said and added that voting could take place in the evening if large number of lawmakers took part in the debate.

“It all depends on the political parties representing in the HoR on how long they want to debate the bill,” Pandey said.

Once the bill is passed by the Lower House, it will be sent to the National Assembly where it will to undergo through similar proceeding, except a seven-day public notification.

The NA will have to give lawmakers 72 hours to move amendments against the bill’s provisions, if any.

As of now, only the lawmaker of JSP-N Sarita Giri has moved an amendment seeking evidence for Nepal’s actual territories.

Co-chair of JSP-N Upendra Yadav told THT that his party today decided to vote in favour of the constitution amendment bill tomorrow and expected lawmaker Giri to abide by the party’s decision.

Yadav said a meeting of the party’s parliamentary party will also ask Giri tomorrow to withdraw her amendment and if she failed to do so action will be taken against her under the party’s statute. The JSP-N has served a notice to Giri asking her to withdraw her amendment proposal against the bill.

Yadav said his party had registered a private constitution amendment bill to address the demands of Madhesis, Janajaits and other marginalised groups and they will take the process forward after the constitution amendment bill was passed.

We are all one on issues of national interest and therefore we decided to vote in favour of the government bill. “We do not want to make the passage of our private constitution amendment bill a pre-condition for our support to the government bill,” Yadav added.

A version of this article appears in e-paper on June 13, 2020, of The Himalayan Times.

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