Constituent Assembly Chairman Subas Chandra Nembang today said the next meeting of the CA would be held after March 29 and he would announce the date on Sunday. He urged the parties to forge consensus on the disputed issues of the new constitution within the next four days.
“Today I reminded the chief whips of the parties represented in the CA to inform their parties about my decision and reach consensus on the disputed issues by Sunday,” said Chairman Nembang.
Nembang met the chief whips of Nepali Congress, CPN-UML, Unified CPN-Maoist, Rastriya Prajatantra Party-Nepal, Madhesi Janaadhikar Forum (Democratic), Rastriya Prajatantra Party, Tarai Madhes Democratic Party and MJF-Nepal at his office in Singha Durbar.
“I had put off the CA meeting on February 12 indefinitely to create an environment for the parties to forge consensus. Since the CA has been stalled for a long period although the opposition parties had demanded just 10 days, I should now tell the people about the CA’s next course,” Nembang said.
The CA chair has to keep a gap of at least 72 hours while calling the CA meeting, as the CA is not in progress. That means he can call the CA meet for April 1 at the earliest. Sources said the date would depend on the progress the parties made till Sunday.
“Since the opposition has announced to intensify their agitation after Sunday, the parties should reach consensus by then,” Nembang said.
After the meeting, UCPN-M Chief Whip Girirajmani Pokharel said his party urged the CA chair to play the lead role by calling regular meetings of the top leaders of major parties until they forged consensus. “We will seriously contribute to the consensus efforts. However, if the next CA meeting was called with an intention of settling the issues through voting, we will not accept it. Now we are boycotting the CA but if the voting process begins without consensus we will quit the CA,” Pokharel said.
Pokharel claimed that UCPN-M Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal, before leaving for China on Monday, had said that the parties were close to forging consensus.
NC Chief Whip Chinkaji Shrestha said, “We, as responsible democratic parties, agreed to put off the democratic process for such a long period so that stakeholders of the peace process could forge consensus. However, we cannot wait more because people have begun to question why we are not proceeding with the set process of the CA.”
UML Chief Whip Agni Kharel said, “With the CA chair’s today’s statement, the parties have only two options — either to forge consensus within the given time or proceed with the set process.”