CA meeting postponed till Friday

The CA meeting has been postponed till 1 pm.

Self-imposed deadline ends in fiasco

Constituent Assembly today failed to deliver the new constitution, which the political parties represented in the CA had promised to, and the ruling and the opposition parties blamed each other for the failure.

Constituent Assembly Chair Subas Chandra Nembang’s effort to move today’s proceedings and to form the Questionnaire Subcommittee failed, as CA members of the 19 parties, including Unified CPN-Maoist, Madhesi and Janajati parties, obstructed the proceedings twice today.

Opposition parties obstructed the House proceedings for almost two hours during each of the two CA meetings. The second CA meeting began at 8.50pm but since the opposition parties continued with sloganeering, CA chair issued a statement scheduling the next meeting of the House at 1pm tomorrow.

Between the first and the second CA meetings the parties tried to forge consensus on the disputed issues but failed to do so. Madhesi Janaadhikar Forum-Democratic Chair Bijaya Kumar Gachhadar presented a proposal that was interpreted as a win-win situation initially.

Gachhadar said the parties should send the agreed upon issues to the Constitution Drafting Committee and could continue discussion on the unsettled issues for six more weeks. NC and the UML accepted his proposal.

Gachhadar had proposed to carve out six-eight states. He said since the parties had an agreement on judiciary and near agreement on the forms of governance, they could send the agreed upon issues to the CDC and can continue talks on the mixed electoral system (ratio of the PR and FPTP seats) and boundaries of the federal units in the next six weeks.

Gachhadar had suggested to bestow the onus of naming the federal units on the state assemblies. However, Gachhadar’s proposal was flatly rejected by UML Chairman KP Sharma Oli.

Former PMs frisked

KATHMANDU: Security was tightened inside and outside the CA building in Baneshwor on Thursday. In the face of opposition’s continued protest, CA members, including former prime ministers, were subjected to elaborate security check by the Marshals. Security personnel prevented CA members and journalists from taking their bags inside the CA building and were made to pass through metal detectors. CA Secretariat had even removed microphones from members belonging to 19-party alliance. Opposition leaders later met CA Chair Subas Chandra Nembang and opposed the CA Secretariat’s decision to subject CA members to elaborate and ‘unnecessary’ security checks.

Assistant Spokesperson of CA Secretariat Sudarshan Kuinkel said elaborate security was put in place after 10 packs of dry pepper powder were found inside the CA.

CA members shouted slogans demanding that the CA should not turn into a barrack. Compared to Wednesday, the number of Marshals was up. Armed police force personnel formed layers of security to prevent demonstrators from moving through the prohibited zones around the CA building. — HNS

Nembang’s plea

KATHMANDU: Constituent Assembly Chair Subas Chandra Nembang urged the protesting CA members to end their obstruction in the Constituent Assembly so that constitution-drafting process could move ahead unhindered. Delivering a brief speech amid sloganeering of the opposition CA members, Nembang said parties could pursue the voting process in the House and could simultaneously continue their efforts to forge consensus.

He said if obstructing the CA became a culture, there could be a danger that the new constitution might not be framed. “Today is not the last day for delivering the new constitution but since political leaders had made a commitment before the nation and the international community to deliver the new constitution within a year, it was a moral and ethical question,” he said. — HNS

Source: THT