STATUTE AMENDMENT BILL Confrontation Ahead

With the registration of the constitution amendment bill, a new round of political confrontation will derail the constitutional process

Dec. 3, 2016, 5:45 p.m. Published in Magazine Issue: Vol 10. No. 8,December. 02,, 2016 Mangsir 17,2073)

Following weeks of speculation and confusion, the constitution amendment bill was registered at the Parliament Secretariat after the cabinet endorsed it.

The decision of Nepali Congress and UCPN-Maoist coalition to register the amendment bill is likely to intensify the ongoing confrontation between main opposition CPN-UML and the two ruling parties.

“We will fight tooth and nail till the last minute. We will not allow Province-5 to break and separate the hills and plain,” thundered CPN-UML leader Bhim Rawal. “The proposal of Nepali Congress and Maoist center is unacceptable for us.”

With the decision of the Maoist-led coalition to register the bill seeking to change the boundary, the local people in Butwal have already announced a series of agitation to protect the integrity of the region.

The bill proposes to amend provisions related to four issues —  redrawing provincial boundaries, recognizing languages, citizenship and representation in the National Assembly — in Nepal’s constitution that was promulgated in September last year.

The Nepali Congress-Maoist coalition government prepared a proposal for the amendment to the constitution in order to address the demands put forth by the agitating Madhesi parties.

The alliance of Madhesi parties had served an ultimatum to bring an amendment proposal. The deadline ended just a day before.

The main opposition CPN-UML, which is the second largest party in the Parliament, however, has been objecting to the purported amendment.

Earlier on the day, Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal had said at his party’s politburo meeting that the proposal would be passed by the cabinet and registered at the parliament.

It has been learned that the top leaders of Nepali Congress and CPN Maoist Centre had held a meeting with leader Kamal Thapa, who is the chairman and Parliamentary Party leader of unified Rastriya Prajatantra Party.

RPP is the fourth largest party in the Parliament.

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