December 28, 2016 06:46 AM NPT
Madhes parties for tabling amendment, election-related bills simultaneously
KATHMANDU, Dec 28: Nepali Congress, the largest party in parliament and the ruling coalition, has started efforts to fix the date for local election and discussed the issue at a meeting between the ruling coalition and the agitating Madhes-based parties Tuesday.
The Madhes-based parties, which are demanding constitution amendment, refused to discuss possible dates for election until the amendment bill is tabled in parliament but agreed to the idea of tabling election-related bills and the constitution amendment bill simultaneously.
“Nepali Congress president sought our view on announcing election date and we replied that we cannot discuss election until the constitution is amended,” said Keshav Jha, the general secretary of the National Madhes Socialist Party.
“NC was in a mood to declare date for local elections. NC President said that they’ll move forward by announcing date for local election and he wanted to know if we want the election under the existing setup or federal setup,” Jha informed about the meeting.
Nepali Congress leader Ram Chandra Paudel also said that the proposal was discussed on Tuesday’s meeting but the Madhes-based parties denied discussing about election date.
“We’ll discuss the issue with the main opposition CPN-UML soon and continue discussion with the Madhes-based parties about possible breakthrough to the existing deadlock,” said Paudel.
Although they refused to discuss election dates, the Madhes-based parties are positive to the idea of tabling election-related bills and constitution amendment bill simultaneously.
“We have agreed to a proposal from Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal that the constitution amendment bill and the election related bills could be tabled together in parliament. However, we clearly said that discussing election date without getting any assurance on constitution amendment is not possible,” said Manis Suman, the general secretary of Sadbhavana Party.
Though constitution amendment bill is registered in parliament, it has yet to be tabled in the parliament since the main opposition CPN-UML and its allies are obstructing parliament meetings demanding that the government withdraw the amendment bill.