Consensus a casualty of rigid stances

Kathmandu, January 1

With the ruling parties and alliance of opposition parties sticking to their stances on proposed constitution amendment bill, there are no signs of ending the political stalemate for a few more days.

It is unlikely that the parties will forge consensus before Friday, as the alliance of nine parties led by the main opposition party, CPN-UML, is preparing to push its agenda through a mass demonstration on Friday.

“We believe that the demonstration will help foil conspiracies being hatched against nationality, national interest and social harmony,” said UML Chairman KP Sharma Oli in a statement appealing people to join the protest.

Earlier today, Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal and CPN-Maoist Centre’s leader Narayan Kaji Shrestha today met Oli and dwelt on ending the political stalemate.

“Although we have not reached any agreement as both the sides stuck to their respective stances, today’s meeting will lead to positive consequences,” said Shrestha.

Oli is for conducting elections – local, provincial and parliamentary within one year, however, he is not ready to end the House deadlock and clear the way for local polls, Shrestha said.

No progress was made on proceeding with the constitution amendment bill by ending the House obstruction, passing election-related bills and deciding on the impeachment motion against Chief of the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority Lokman Singh Karki, although the issues were discussed today, according to Shrestha.

Speaker Onsari Gharti Magar is preparing to call Parliament meeting more than once on the same day from tomorrow so that the leaders could be engaged in dialogue. “She will hold consultations with chief whips of the parties at tomorrow’s business advisory committee meeting to be held before the House meeting slated for 1:00pm.

If the first meeting is obstructed, she will call another meeting tomorrow itself. In between the two meetings, she will hold talks with leaders of the major parties,” said the Speaker’s Press Adviser Babin Sharma. However, the speaker will halt the proceedings if the House is obstructed, he said.

The Election Commission has said that it requires five election related bills and administrative centres of the restructured bodies in operation within 15 days for holding the elections of the local bodies by mid-May as planned by the major parties.

Three election related bills are under consideration at a sub- panel of the State Affairs Committee of the Parliament.Two other bills that were registered in the Parliament on December 14 have been included in the business list of the Parliament.

However, the government is not being able to table them. CPN-UML Chief Whip Bhanu Bhakta Dhakal said the opposition alliance would not let the ruling parties table the bills.