THT 10 YEARS AGO: Move afoot to evolve consensus

Kathmandu, November 19, 2007

Top leaders of the seven parties today agreed in principle to evolve a political consensus on giving “legal” and “constitutional” status to the two motions of republic and fully proportional electoral system during the regular winter session of the House, as directed by the special session of the interim parliament to the government.

“We have agreed that a wayout will be explored to give legal and constitutional status to the two directives, as an amendment to the interim constitution is not possible without a consensus among the parties,” said Nepali Congress spokesperson Arjun Narsingh KC, who was present during the formal seven party meeting held at the Prime Minister’s residence in Baluwatar.

KC told mediapersons that Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala urged the leaders to end the protracted political deadlock giving high priority to holding the constituent assembly election before mid-April.

Leaders also agreed to form a small taskforce comprising representatives of all the parties to work on the pertinent agenda.

According to the NC spokesperson, the PM stressed the need to maintain the seven-party unity, make the winter session more systematic, find solution to the problems focusing on the CA polls and review and implement the previous agreements.

At an interaction held in the capital on Friday, Maoist chairman Prachanda had called for reviewing their agreements with the seven (now six) parties and the government. “We are also in favour of reviewing the agreements as there are still problems in their implementation,” KC said.

Winter session adjourned without breaking ice

Kathmandu, November 19, 2007

Winter session of the interim parliament was adjourned for 10 days today soon after it was convened without any member of parliament raising issues of public importance.

The announcement concerning adjournment was made by Speaker Subas Nembang, who opened the session by reading out a customary letter from Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala on the issue.

The session, which is usually dedicated to legislation, is considered vital, as failure to amend the constitution for new election date will, for all practical purposes, lead to grave constitutional crisis. Speaker Nembang said at the very outset: “The attention of the entire nation is now towards this parliament.

Progressive strides will be possible only in the event of the continued unity among the constituents of the alliance.” While he expressed hope that the session will throw up a solution to the outstanding constitutional crisis, all hopes are now pinned on the next 10 days before the seven-party alliance irons out differences on early republic and new electoral system.