HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE
KATHMANDU: The three major political parties today discussed promulgating the new constitution by including the issues already agreed upon and those that can be agreed upon after reviving the Constituent Assembly (CA). The parties also discussed putting contentious issues to the vote through referendum.
After the top-brass met at the CPN-UML headquarters in Balkhu, they hinted they could reach agreement though the NC and UML doubted whether the UCPN-M would honestly clear the deadlock.
“We discussed promulgating the new constitution by reviving the CA after incorporating issues that can be agreed upon, then deciding some of the issues at the CA and holding referendum on issues that remain unresolved,” said UCPN-Maoist spokesperson Agni Prasad Sapkota after the meeting.
Stating that the talks were positive, he said the parties could reach agreement within three to four days.
As UCPN-M Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal was scheduled to go to Janakpur to participate in a programme and UML Chairman Jhala Nath Khanal had to be hospitalised for an operation, the meeting could not be conclusive, he added.
Nepali Congress General Secretary Krishna Prasad Sitaula said although today’s meeting discussed the unsettled issues of the new constitution, it cannot be assessed as positive or negative. “The May 15 five-point deal with the UCPN-M had settled the issues of federalism. However, the UCPN-M did not implement it later. So, it will be premature to assess the developments as positive or negative as the UCPN-M cannot be trusted easily,” said Sitaula.
Addressing a separate programme organised by Nepal Tarun Dal, Ichangunarayan VDC chapter ,after the three-party meeting, NC leader Ram Chandra Paudel said the CA could be revived for very short period if the parties could agree on the unsettled issues.
“We are discussing whether the new constitution can be promulgated by incorporating the agreed issues through a revived CA leaving the unsettled issues to be decided through referendum. However, detailed discussions are yet to be held,” he said. Paudel, however, said the UCPN-M could still not be trusted as it had a history of breaching agreements. “They have again raised the previous proposal of 10 or 14-pradesh model and have tried to confuse the Congress and UML, however, they will never succeed,” Paudel said.
UML General Secretary Ishwor Pokharel said the parties discussed two options — CA revival after agreeing on the disputed issues and going for fresh polls.
As the major parties are stuck to their stances on federalism, they could make it their agenda in the referendum. The UCPN-M backs single ethnicity based identity while NC and UML are against it and are pleading for multiple identity based federalism.