Amendment, poll-related bills in House business amid protest

Published On: December 20, 2016 01:40 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, Dec 20: After efforts at negotiations between the ruling and opposition political parties yielded no result, the government introduced the constitution amendment bill in House business on Monday.

The government placed the two election-related bills, which were demanded by the opposition parties, along with the amendment bill in House business. With a meeting between the ruling Nepali Congress (NC) and CPN (Maoist Center), the main opposition CPN-UML and the House speaker failing to end the stalemate, the opposition parties continued their obstruction in the House.

However, eight of the opposition parties did not intensify their protest in the House as they had earlier threatened. 

As soon as the House meeting commenced, the opposition lawmakers stood at their seats to oppose the amendment bill. “The amendment bill has invited a fragile situation such as the country has never seen since the  the Sugauli treaty,” said Nepa Party lawmaker Laxman Rajbamsi when the speaker allowed the opposition side to put forth their views. Following the obstruction from the opposition parties, Speaker Onsari Gharti deferred the House meeting till Thursday.

The speaker has urged the ruling and opposition parties to come to an agreement on ending the House obstruction within the three-day interval. “I have urged both sides to reach any understanding to end the stalemate in the House by Thursday,” Gharti told media after the House meeting adjourned.

Briefing media about the three-party meeting held earlier the day, Gharti said the House meeting has been slated for Thursday only on the request of the parties. 

“We decided to continue talks with a view to forge consensus on the amendment bill, the impeachment motion and resuming House business in a package,” said NC senior leader Ram Chandra Paudel after the three-party meeting convened by the speaker on Monday.

However, emerging from the meeting, UML Vice Chairman Bamdev Gautam accused the ruling side of trying to forward the amendment bill by including it with the election-related bills in House business. 

“We are always ready to endorse the election related bills, but will not withdraw the obstruction when the election-related bills come along with the amendment bill,” said Gautam.

After the two sides failed to make headway, the ruling parties had decided to place both the amendment bill and the election-related bills in House business. “We have decided to include the election-related bills in House business, addressing the demands of the opposition parties, but they didn't agree to lift the obstruction, citing the amendment bill," said Maoist leader and Finance Minister Krishna Bahadur Mahara, emerging from the meeting.

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