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CONSTITUTION DRAFTING PROCESS: Leaders agree to end deadlock



KATHMANDU: Top leaders of the three major political parties today agreed to end the current deadlock in constitution-making and forward the proposals of various parties to the Constituent Assembly full House for discussion.

The main opposition Unified CPN-Maoist agreed to forward the proposals received by the Constitutional-Political Dialogue and Consensus Committee of the CA to the full House of the CA, confirmed sources after a meeting of the three major parties held at Prime Minister Sushil Koirala’s residence in Baluwatar this evening in the presence of CA Chairman Subas Nembang.

As per the understanding, CPDCC Chairman Baburam Bhattarai has called the panel’s meeting for 10:00 am tomorrow according to his private secretariat sources. He had put off the meeting indefinitely on November 17 after the ruling and opposition parties were sharply divided over the CPDCC’s next step.

The CA full House will discuss the proposals forwarded by the CPDCC, while leaders continue talks to forge consensus on the disputed issues of the new constitution as agreed today.

The ruling parties, at today’s meeting, had assured the UCPN-M that they were ready to modify the joint proposal they had registered with the backing of two-third majority of the CA at the CPDCC on November 3.

Sources said the ruling parties hinted that they would be flexible with regard to their proposal, mainly on the electoral system. The joint proposal has proposed a lower House of parliament to be formed on the basis of first-past-the-post election system. The opposition parties had stressed a mixed system — FPTP and Proportional Representation.

Leaders will decide the modality of sending the proposals to the CA full House after intra-party consultations tomorrow. Previously, the ruling parties had insisted on including their joint proposal on disputed issues of the constitution in the main part of the CPDCC report, while UCPN-M had stressed including the proposals in the annexe of the report.

Opposition parties, on November 17, had rejected the ruling parties’ request to forward the latter’s joint proposal on constitutional issues to the CA full House for discussion. The ruling parties had submitted the signatures of 43 members of the 71-member CPDCC to Bhattarai urging him to forward the document. Bhattarai had then put off the CPDCC meeting indefinitely stating that he would act only after political forces forged consensus on the next step.

“Today’s meeting has cleared suspicions between the ruling and opposition parties. I am very hopeful the parties will end the deadlock by tomorrow,” CA Chairman Nembang told THT after the meeting. The top leaders today stressed on promulgating the constitution by January 22, the stipulated date, said Nembang.

Earlier today, NC leader Narahari Acharya consulted UCPN-M Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal at the latter’s residence in Lazimpat. Dahal had then met PM Koirala separately at the latter’s residence in Baluwatar in the afternoon.

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