PRAKASH ACHARYA & TIKA RAM PRADAHAN
KATHMANDU: The four major political forces on Tuesday agreed upon extending the term of Constituent Assembly, which was expiring on May 27, by three more months.
The top leaders of UCPN-Maoist, Nepali Congress, CPN-UML and United Democratic Madhesi Front held a meeting at Singha Durbar this evening to discuss how to promulgate the new constitution amid existing differences among the parties over crucial issues including federalism.
Following the understanding, the Cabinet decided to bring in the 13th Constitution Amendment Bill. Deputy Prime Minister Krishna Prasad Sitaula registered the Bill at the House on behalf of the government.
Prime Minister Dr. Baburam Bhattarai had proposed to extend the CA term by three months in the four-side meeting.
Nepali Congress and CPN-UML expressed their reservation over the three-month extension proposal, suggesting that the extension should be done for a month only, Nepali Congress leader Bimalendra Nidhi told the media after the meeting.
According to him, the parties had to come to terms with the purported extension as the Madhesi parties did not agree to promulgate the constitution even with an understanding to resolve of some of the disputed issues later through the transitional parliament.
Nidhi said the parties, however, will continue their efforts to build consensus and try to meet the deadline for new constitution.
After the Cabinet meeting, Deputy Prime Minister Narayan Kaji Shrestha informed that the parties will try to resolve the issues through consensus and prepare the new constitution by May 27. If that happens, the 13th Amendment Bill of Interim Constitution registered at the Legislature-Parliament will be withdrawn, he said.
Shrestha said the Cabinet assessed the Supreme Court verdict and concluded that the purported extension would not breach the aspiration of apex court’s directive as the CA needed some time to technically finalise the constitution-in-the-making even after May 27.