Parties begin talks to end House obstruction, hold polls

Published On: December 12, 2016 08:21 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, Dec 12: In a significant political development after the seven-point constitution amendment bill pushed them asunder, the ruling and opposition parties have begun fresh negotiations to resolve the ongoing obstruction of Parliament and foster an environment conducive to holding local level elections.

On Sunday, ruling Nepali Congress (NC) President Sher Bahadur Deuba held a meeting with CPN-UML Chairman K P Sharma Oli to settle the differences seen among the ruling and opposition parties over the constitution amendment bill. The two leaders discussed resolving the House obstructions in an amicable fashion and creating an environment conducive to polls.

Talking to media persons after the meeting, NC President Deuba said they have decided to hold a meeting of  top leaders of the three major political parties to thrash out the issues in detail. “We held discussions about holding local elections and resolving the ongoing House obstructions. There has been positive discussions with the UML,” he said.

This is the first formal meeting  between Deuba and Oli after relations between the ruling and opposition parties soured in the wake of the government registering a seven-point amendment bill. Earlier, House Speaker Onsari Gharti had held separate meetings with the top leaders of major parties in her bid to resolve the ongoing House obstructions. 

Various opposition parties including the main opposition UML have been obstructing the House, demanding that the amendment bill be withdrawn. The bill that proposes to split the hill districts away from Province 5 also triggered massive protests in various districts in Mid-Western Nepal, with even lawmakers representing the ruling parties objecting to the proposal.

Sources said NC President Deuba had urged the UML to lift the House obstructions, arguing that the amendment proposal tabled in Parliament could be further amended through a consensus. He also asked the UML chairman to help conduct the local level polls by mid-April as this was a must for implementing the new Constitution. 

After the meeting that lasted about 45 minutes, UML Deputy Parliamentary Party leader Subas Nembang, who accompanied Oli during the talks, said the meeting focused on removing the mistrust between the  parties. “There has been an agreement that the political stalemate should not be prolonged further,” he said. Nembang argued that there was a need of political understanding among the parties to drive the country towards fresh elections.

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