Nepal: UML 'allows' House to deliberate over Constitution Amendment Bill

| Updated: Feb 25, 2017 01:11 IST

Kathmandu [Nepal], Feb. 24 (ANI): Deliberations on the Constitution Amendment Bill finally started on Thursday, almost three months after it was registered at the Parliament Secretariat and a month and a half after it was tabled in Parliament, following the main opposition CPN-UML's decision to stay neutral. This comes as earlier during a meeting between Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal, Speaker Onasari Gharti and UML chairman KP Sharma Oli, it was decided that UML would let deliberations on the Constitution Amendment Bill move forward. After the House sat on Thursday, Minister for Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Ajay Shankar Nayak tabled the Constitution of Nepal (Second Amendment) before House to consider for deliberations. Of the nine parties in the UML-led opposition bloc, only Nepal Majdoor Kisan Party objected to the proposal and demanded that the constitution amendment bill be withdrawn. The nine-party opposition bloc has been protesting against the amendment bill since it was first registered at the Parliament Secretariat on November 29. The government tabled the bill in Parliament on January 8 amid uproar from the opposition parties. The opposition bloc since November-end had been obstructing House proceedings to block the bill. Even though the UML allowed discussions on the constitution amendment bill on Thursday, its fate still continues to hang in the balance. While speaking at Parliament after seeking special time, Subas Nembang, deputy leader of UML's Parliamentary Party, said that the opposition bloc was letting the House deliberate over the amendment bill "only for one day" and that it would not let the House endorse it. "The country should focus on local elections now," he said. The government, which is under pressure from the Madhes-based parties to amend constitution, lacks the numbers to get the bill endorsed. The Madhes-based parties had supported the Maoist-Congress alliance in forming the government after they were assured that their demand of constitution amendment will be addressed. The next House meeting has been scheduled for March 2. (ANI)
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