CA turns into battleground

As the difference between ruling and opposition parties sharply widen on the question over to promulgate the constitution, some kinds of violent actions was expected. Even CA chair Subhas Chndra Nembang, who reportedly proposed to mobilize Marshals c

Jan. 20, 2015, 5:45 p.m. Published in Magazine Issue: Vol. : 08 No.- 14 January 16 - 2015 (Magh 2, 2071)

As the difference between ruling and opposition parties sharply widen on the question over to promulgate the constitution, some kinds of violent actions was expected. Even CA chair Subhas Chndra Nembang, who reportedly proposed to mobilize Marshals commando training, visualized this.

As the vandalism at CA started, the whole constitution and political process taken since signing the peace process come to an end. The decade of so called political consensus and monopoly of political power come to an end.

Had speaker Subhash Nembang postponed the meeting, the situation would have averted. Had leaders of ruling and opposition parties agreed to defer the meeting, the situation would not have occurred. In

Although this is not the first time, Nepal’s parliament has seen such situation. In 1999, the current CPN-UML completely destroyed the microphone and chair in House of Representatives when a local governance bill was tabled. Despite such vandalism, the bill was passed.  

After the vandalism and physical fight, the late night meeting of the Constituent Assembly was postponed for 1:00 pm Tuesday, following strong protest amidst scuffles by the opposition CA members against the effort to table a proposal for a committee to develop questionnaires on the disputed issues of the new constitution.

As soon as CA Chairman Subas Nembang called the name of Nepali Congress Chief Whip Chinkaji Shrestha to table the proposal for the formation of the committee, the opposition members left their respective seats and rushed towards the rostrum. Chanting slogans against the move, the opposition CA members triedto break the human chain of the marshals to stop the proposal from being made.

However, NC Chief Whip Shrestha was not allowed to reach to the podium. And, the marshals did not recognize him when he had forced his way through. Sensing that the situation was turning hostile after some time of commotion and scuffle between the opposition CA members and the marshals, CA Chair Nembang announced the postponement of the meeting until 1:00 pm Tuesday.

Some of the opposition CA members resorted to vandalism after the CA meeting was adjourned, breaking chairs and microphone, jumping over the tables and throwing chairs towards the marshals, and hurling their shoes towards the podium. Scores of marshals were injured in the incident. Opposition lawmakers also hurled microphones at UML Chairman KP Sharma Oli and Vice-chairman Bidhya Bhandari,

The meeting had begun at around 1:00 am with CA Chairman Nembang giving Baburam Bhattarai, the Chair of the CA Constitutional-Political Dialogue and Consensus Committee the time to respond to the queries raised over the report that he had presented on behalf of the Committee.

Responding to the queries raised during deliberations over the CPDCC report, Bhattarai said it was unfortunate that a consensus could not be reached on the contentious issues of the new constitution. He emphasized on the need to hold further discussion and bringing out a constitution acceptable to all, rather than sticking to January 22.

He also expressed the view that promulgation of the new constitution would not be difficult if the partners since the 12-point agreement came together. "The constitution must be promulgated through the CA, and that is also the aspiration of the Nepali people."

Stating that the new constitution should not be decided on the basis of majority and minority, Bhattarai said the process of consensus is easy instead of the difficult and long road of process, which would not be right even in terms of the procedure.

As  Bhattarai emphasized that the CA should not be made a reason for another conflict, the drama turned into a battle ground.

 

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