CPN-UML a divided house

Kathmandu, December 11

A rift has surfaced in the CPN-UML on whether party lawmakers should obstruct all the House proceedings or only the proceedings related to the constitution amendment bill.

The main opposition party has been obstructing House proceedings since the government registered the bill on November 29. UML’s deputy parliamentary party leader Subas Chandra Nembang said the government and the ruling parties had not taken any initiative to end the House obstruction.

He said the House obstruction did not prevent the government from announcing the election dates and tabling election-related bills in the Parliament. “If the government tables election-related bills in the House and withholds discussion on the constitution amendment bill, we are ready to end obstruction of House proceedings,” he said.

The UML, Nembang added, is a responsible opposition and sensitive towards the national issues and problems faced by the people. “As a responsible opposition party, we are ready to discuss all national problems,” said Nembang.

He said his party had been asking the government and the ruling parties to stop violation of the constitution, announce election dates and ensure rule of law in the country. UML leader Shankar Pokhrel, on the other hand, said the party had not taken any decision to let House proceedings resume.

“The party will obstruct House proceedings till the government withdraws the amendment bill and this decision will hold until a new decision is taken on the matter,” said Pokhrel. He, however, added that his party was always ready to discuss national problems.

UML leaders added that the party was ready to discuss with the government and other ruling parties the conditions to let House proceedings resume.

They added that the party was ready to forge consensus on the amendment bill. “We are open to new efforts to forge consensus on national issues,” said UML Chief Whip Bhanubhakta Dhakal. He said the ball was now in the government and ruling parties’ court to take his party into confidence.

Dhakal added that the government had to withdraw the bill to end House obstruction.

He said the government should re-register the constitution amendment bill in the Parliament after forging national consensus among major parties.