Parliament to meet today

Kathmandu, January 18

The Legislature Parliament is scheduled to meet tomorrow at 1:00pm after a hiatus of 13 days.

Speaker Onsari Gharti, who flew to Bangkok on January 6 on a private visit and extended her stay in Thailand till today, had postponed the House meeting till tomorrow hoping for a consensus among political parties on constitution amendment bill that is under consideration in the Parliament.

However, as the parties are speeding up negotiations, the ongoing talks among three major parties and Madhes-based parties will determine the course of House proceedings tomorrow.

“The Speaker will return late in the evening today and will determine the agenda of tomorrow’s House meeting after holding consultations with leaders of political parties tomorrow morning,” said Gharti’s press adviser Babin Sharma.

Gharti has two options forming a parliamentary committee to manage the 24 amendment proposals filed by lawmakers regarding the Bill on First Amendment of Constitution of Nepal and extending the amendment process by a few days or beginning the clause-wise discussion on the bill, along with the amendment proposals, without forming such a committee.

Clause-wise discussions are held before putting a bill to vote as per the Parliament Regulations.

Although the agitating Madhes-based parties have been obstructing the proceedings related to the amendment bill since it was tabled, they are expected to take part in the remaining proceedings if the task forces of the major parties and the United Democratic Madhesi Front forge consensus by tomorrow.

Initially, the Speaker had flown to Bangkok on January 6 to meet her ailing husband and Unified CPN-Maoist Secretary Barshaman Pun after adjourning the House till January 13.

But on January 12 she extended her stay in Bangkok till January 18 by adjourning the Parliament till tomorrow. Pun will, however, remain hospitalised in Bangkok for a few more days, according to Sharma.

NC Chief Whip Chin Kaji Shrestha said, “Tomorrow the House will either begin discussion on the bill or form a committee to manage the amendment proposals.

The ongoing talks will determine tomorrow’s agenda.”