RJPN mounts renewed pressure for amendment

Published On: May 9, 2017 01:20 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, MAY 9: The Rastriya Janata Party Nepal (RJPN) on Monday threatened to resume protests if the government failed to endorse the constitution amendment bill before the second phase of the local elections. Four provinces including Province 2, the base of the agitating Madhesi parties, are slated to go to local polls on June 14, exactly a month after the first phase of the local polls.

A meeting of RJPN leaders on Monday concluded that the government had once again failed to deliver on its promises on constitution amendment. The meeting also decided to meet the top leaders of the ruling CPN (Maoist Center) and Nepali Congress to mount renewed pressure on them to endorse the bill soon after the first phase of the local polls.  

Though the government had pledged to endorse the constitution amendment bill before the local polls, it could not happen after a section of Rastriya Prajatantra Party leaders refused to support the bill. 

Though RJPN had earlier announced to take part in the polls, the party is now threatening to boycott the polls. 

"We believe that it's entirely possible to endorse the amendment bill if the ruling coalition shows enough sincerity.  The constitution must be amended before the polls. If not, we will not take part in the polls," said RJPN leader Hridayesh Tripathi. 

Though Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal has long been working to garner a two-thirds majority in support of the bill in parliament, he has not succeeded so far. 

Despite hardening its stance in public, RJPN leadership has come under pressure to take part in polls even if there is no amendment. The Federal Socialist Forum Nepal and Nepal Democratic Forum, two other Madhesi parties which also have a stake in the hilly districts, are participating in the first phase of the local polls. Unlike these two parties, the RJPN does not have a support base in the hilly and mountainous districts. 

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