UML to halt obstructions if boundary changes dropped from bill

Published On: January 4, 2017 07:10 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, Jan 4: The main opposition CPN-UML has proposed withdrawing the proposal concerning provincial boundary revisions from the constitution amendment bill in order to find a consensus among the major political parties. 

Arguing that the Supreme Court (SC) ruling on Monday had validated the UML's stance that the consent of the provincial assembly is a must to revise a provincial boundary, the party said it is ready to allow the holding of parliamentary discussions on the other provisions if the provision concerning provincial boundary revisions is withdrawn from the amendment bill.

“We have reservations over the other provisions also. But we are ready to allow the holding of discussions on the other provisions if the proposal concerning provincial boundary revisions is withdrawn,” UML Standing Committee Member Shanker Pokharel told Republica. 

Opposition leaders have construed the decision of the parliamentary speaker to postpone the House meeting till Sunday at the request of the ruling parties as an attempt to find some kind of consensus on the amendment bill. “We have some time for working out a consensus, but we will forge our own strategy if the provision concerning boundary revisions is not withdrawn from the amendment bill,” Pokharel further said.

Party leaders familiar with developments said quiet negotiations are taking place among the ruling and opposition parties. There is a consensus among the ruling party leaders that the UML must be brought on board the amendment process. 

A meeting of the UML Standing Committee was held on Tuesday to assess the situation following the apex court ruling. Lawyers close to the UML have argued that the SC verdict strengthened the UML's stance that it is the right of the provincial assembly to revise the provincial boundaries. The meeting decided to welcome the court ruling.

According to a press statement issued by the party after the meeting, the UML has decided to hold meetings with other opposition parties and various other stakeholders to forge future strategy. The meeting also decided to make the protest rally in Kathmandu scheduled for Friday  effective in order to disseminate the UML stance on the issue of constitution amendment.

Amendment without revisions will be endorsed with UML support: Deuba 
Nepali Congress President Sher Bahadur Deuba has said that the amendment bill registered in Parliament would be endorsed without any revisions and with the active support of the main opposition UML. 

Speaking at a function organized by the Reporter's Club at his residence at Budhanilkantha on Tuesday, Deuba brushed aside the revisions demanded by the opposition parties and the agitating Madhes-based parties. “The amendment bill registered in Parliament will be endorsed as it is. There won't be any revision,” he said.

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