KATHMANDU, Dec 16: The main opposition party, CPN-UML, has reiterated its demand for withdrawal of the constitution amendment bill from parliament in order create an environment conducive for holding elections.
A standing committee meeting of the party held on Thursday reiterated the demand, terming the amendment bill tabled in parliament as 'unconstitutional', 'anti-people' and 'anti-national'. While expressing solidarity with the protests launched by various civil society organizations, professional bodies and ordinary public against the amendment bill, the meeting also decided to make the ongoing protests further stringent and effective, according to a press statement issued by the UML.
The UML and other opposition parties together stepped up protests after the government registered a seven-point constitution amendment bill in the parliament in order to appease the agitating Madhes-based parties. The bill has sparked protests in various districts in mid-western Nepal as this, among other things, proposes to take the hill districts away from Province 5.
The standing committee meeting that dwelt on various contemporary issues emphasized on the need to give the country "political stability and drive it forward in the direction of economic and social prosperity."
"Election to the body of people's representatives within the date stipulated by the constitution is a must in order to achieve these," the statement further said.
The standing committee meeting has also drawn the attention of the government toward holding all three levels of elections as stipulated in the constitution by January 2018. "The UML is looking for guarantees for the holding of all three elections within the stipulated date," said UML Standing Committee member Shanker Pokharel.
Pokhrel said UML has decided either to exert pressure on the government for holding all three tiers of elections under the new federal setup or focus on parliamentary elections "Holding local elections under the existing structures of VDCs and municipalities does not help in resolving the political deadlock," he further said.