UML, MJF agree on republic, statute amendment

Kathmandu, May 16:

CPN-UML and Madhesi Janadhikar Forum leaders held discussions at UML headquarters in Balkhu on current issues, including that of turning the country into a republic during the first meeting of the Constituent Assembly.

UML leaders Jhala Nath Khanal, Amrit Bohara and Bharat Mohan Adhikari and MJF leaders Upendra Yadav and Mahadev Shah represented their respective parties in the meeting. Adhikari said both the parties agreed on executing the agenda of republic by the first meeting of the CA.

“We also agreed on constitutional amendment to replace the provision of two thirds majority with a simple majority to form or oust a government and develop consensus of other political parties on this matter,” he said, adding both the parties would meet after two days.

MJF coordinator Upendra Yadav confirmed that the two parties had agreed on the agenda.

“We have agreed to amend all contradictory clauses of the interim constitution together,” Yadav told this daily, adding that the formation of the new government could only take place after the amendment to the constitution.

Adhikari said UML would hold talks with other parties as well before holding the next round of talks with the MJF so that a consensus could be reached to resolve all prevailing political complexities.

“MJF leaders acknowledged that the NC was ready to amend the constitution but the Maoists were still averse to the idea,” he added.

Adhikari said the amendment to the constitution was also necessary to incorporate newly emerged political parties to replace the seven-party alliance and have a constitutional provision for the new head of state after the abolition of the monarchy. “The constitution says the Prime Minister can assume the power of both the executive head and the head of the state until the republic is formed. Therefore, the amendment to the constitution is a must after the country turns into a republic,” he said.

“The agenda of republic and constitutional amendment could move simultaneously once the major political players agreed.” He added the amendment to incorporate a provision on the head of the state could take place even a day before the republic is formed.