Four parties adamant on statute by Aug 17


Four major parties — Nepali Congress, CPN-UML, Unified CPN-Maoist and Madhesi Janaadhikar Forum-Democratic — are determined to deliver the new constitution by August 17 on the basis of 16-point agreement reached among them on June 8 even if consensus could not be forged on contentious issues.

The parties are divided over reviewing the first draft of new constitution on some of the key issues – demarcation of the federal units before or after promulgating the new constitution, Westminster system or directly-elected chief executive and secularism or religious freedom. A meeting of the four parties held this morning in Baluwatar tasked their chief whips with preparing a list of key issues received from the people’s feedback collection, according to Unified CPN-Maoist leader Narayankaji Shrestha. The four-party meeting scheduled for 4:00pm tomorrow will discuss the list. The four parties have been discussing demarcation of boundaries, forms of governance, citizenship, secularism and ways to ensure more rights to the underprivileged groups, according to Shrestha.

“We will hold discussions on the people’s feedback in two-three days. If we could agree on the issues, we will review the first draft accordingly.

Otherwise, we will review the document on the basis of 16-point agreement and the fundamentals of federal democratic republic system,” said NC leader Purna Bahadur Khadka.

UML leader Bhim Rawal said his party was studying the feedback to decide what all can be changed in the first draft. NC is of the opinion to demarcate the boundaries of federal units before delivering the new statute, said NC leader Khadka, adding, “The attempts for this will continue before final voting on the new statute in the CA.”

MJF-D leader Jitendra Narayan Dev said his party wanted population rather than geography as the major basis for demarcating the election constituencies.

The Committee on Citizen Relations and Public Opinion Collection has finalised around 100-page report based on feedback on the draft constitution. “The report will be discussed at the panel tomorrow before it is submitted to the CA chairman tomorrow itself,” said the sub-panel coordinator Prem Bahadur Giri.