Ruling parties mull taskforce for statute amendment
August 9, 2016 01:00 AM NPT
KATHMANDU, Aug 9: The ruling coalition has been mulling the formation of a joint taskforce soon to prepare a constitution amendment proposal. Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal has presented a proposal to Madhes-based parties for forming a joint taskforce to do homework within Nepali Congress, CPN (Maoist Center) and the Madhes-based parties to make common understanding for constitution amendment.
"We are yet to discuss the constitution amendment issue formally but the prime minister has proposed forming a taskforce to make common understanding within the coalition of NC, Maoist Center and Madhes-based parties," said Sharbendra Nath Shukla, the spokesperson of Tarai-Madhes Democratic Party.
Sadbhavana Party General Secretary Manish Suman said that the taskforce if formed will focus on seeking amendment to the provisions of federalism, language, citizenship, judiciary, proportional inclusion, formation of upper house, determination of electoral constituencies on the basis of population and preamble.
"These are the issues about which the Madhes-movement has expressed serious concerns and the constitution amendment should focus on all these issues," said Suman.
Shukla expressed hope that amending the constitution would not be a big issue if the major parties agreed to begin discussions from the point where the dialogue between the major three parties and Madhes-based parties had stalled last time.
"The prime minsiter has said that after making a common understanding between the parties within the three-point agreement, he will start dialogue with other parties in parliament, including the main opposition CPN-UML," said Shukla.
NC, Maoist Center and Madhes-based parties last week had agreed to move forward a constitution amendment proposal in parliament on the basis of political understanding while electing Dahal as prime minister.
"At least 32 articles of the constitution should be amended to address our most important demands. So far as my party is concerned, we see around 80 articles are problematic and they need to be amended if we want universal acceptance of the constitution," said Upendra Yadav, the chairman of Federal Socialist Forum Nepal (FSFN).
Though the Madhes-based parties, united under the United Democratic Madhesi Front (UDMF) and the Federal Alliance, voted for Dahal in the prime ministerial election, they have been saying that they will not join the government until the constitution is amended to address their demands.