KATHMANDU, April 25: Main opposition CPN-UML Chairman K P Sharma Oli has said that the party cannot support the decision of the government to revise the constitution amendment bill which is under discussion in the parliament.
Addressing the parliament meeting on Monday, Oli said that the UML will support the amendment bill only if any of the existing provisions of the constitution is against holding the local polls and ending the transition by implementing the new constitution.
Oli's statement has dampened the hopes of amending the new constitution with the support of the opposition parties. The government had earlier withdrawn a constitution amendment bill from the parliament after the UML-led opposition alliance obstructed its proceedings in the House.
Although the government has dropped the proposal of revising the boundary of Province-5 in the new amendment bill registered in the parliament earlier this month, the UML again opposed this bill terming it as a regressive move.
UML Chairman Oli said that the decision of the government to revise the current amendment bill is 'more dangerous' than the bill itself. “UML can consider supporting the bill only if any provision of the new constitution bars local polls, implementation of the new constitution and ending the transition,” Oli said. “But UML will not support irrelevant, unconstitutional, and improper amendment proposal.”
Stating that the preparation for constitution amendment is not linked with local polls, Oli accused Pushpa Kamal Dahal-led government that it has done nothing except being engaged in constitution amendment issues. “Let's not move toward the way which leads to uncertainty of the elections. Let's move to the practical direction which makes the elections a success,” Oli said.
Oli was of the view that the transitional parliament cannot revise all the provisions of the new constitution. “The constitution is not a document which can't be amended. Furthermore, each and every provision of the constitution cannot be amended at any time,” he said.
Oli also questioned the government undermining the election code of ethics by preparing to unveil the budget on the eve of the local polls, which might influence the election results.
According to the constitutional provision, the government must present the budget on Jestha 15 (May 29). The government has decided to hold the second phase of the local polls on June 14, two weeks after the budget. Questioning the impartiality of the polls just after the budget, Oli suggested concluding the second phase of the polls before the introduction of the budget.
Oli also vented his ire against the government for keeping the main opposition in dark about the agreement with the agitating Madhes-based parties on major national issues. He further said that the UML is ready for dialogue and holding three sets of elections by January 2018. Oli also accused the government of hatching a poly for not holding the local polls and blaming the UML for it.