Constituent Assembly (CA) Chairman Subas Nembang has scheduled the first meeting of the CA’s proposal drafting committee for January 31.
Nembang’s move comes a day after he announced the formation of the committee at the CA plenary on Sunday, amidst sloganeering by UCPN (Maoist) and other opposition lawmakers.
“I have scheduled the committee’s first meeting for January 31,” Nembang told reporters at his chamber at Singha Durbar, Monday.
He has called the first meeting as the CA rules require that the first meeting and next sitting of the committee shall be chaired by its eldest member until its chairperson is elected.
However, with the opposition parties announcing that they would not recommend names for members to represent them on the committee, the fate of the panel remains in question.
At the full CA meeting on Sunday, Nembang announced the names of only 49 members of the committee out of the total membership of 73 as the opposition parties protested the formation of the committee.
Sources at the CA secretariat informed that Nembang and some moderate leaders from the ruling coalition have taken initiatives to persuade the UCPN (Maoist)-led alliance to participate in the committee, which is tasked with converting the disputes over constitution-making into objective questionnaires so that these can be decided though majority vote in the CA if there is no consensus.
The secretariat sources said that Nembang told some of the interlocutors there is no need for any knee-jerk reactions from the opposition camp as the parties could still work to settle the disputes in consensus.
“Once the leaders forge a consensus, the Constitutional Political Dialogue and Consensus Committee (CPDCC) can prepare its report based on that political understanding and forward it to the full CA,” a source quoted Nembang as telling interparty interlocutors. “The newly-formed proposal drafting committee will then become automatically redundant.”
While the opposition parties have announced a boycott of the committee, leaders from the ruling parties have said the newly-formed committee cannot remain inoperative even if “some political parties” don’t join it.
“When two-thirds of its members are already there, there is no point leaving the committee ineffective,” CPN-UML senior leader Madhav Kumar Nepal told reporters at a function in the capital, Monday.
He, however, was optimistic about the opposition parties joining the committee after more talks.
Gachchhadar’s proposal can be meeting point: Nepal
CPN-UML senior leader Madhav Kumar Nepal has said the proposal floated last week by Chairman of Madhesi People’s Rights Forum-Democratic (MPRF-D) Bijay Gachchhadar can still be a meeting point among the major political forces in connection with settling major contentions over the new constitution.
“He has floated an appropriate proposal for settling the disputes. We can discuss the proposal because he still stands firmly by it,” Nepal said at a function. “His proposal was floated with the intention of solving the problem.”
Gachchhadar, during interparty negotiations, proposed to settle immediately the disputes related to system of governance, model of judiciary and electoral system and forward these to the CA’s drafting committee.
He suggested that theissue of state restructuring could be put on hold for around a month. He was for fixing the number of provinces between six to eight while allowing the provincial assemblies to name the provinces.
The four major political forces — NC, UML, UCPN (Maoist) and the Madhes-based parties — were very close to reaching a deal based around Gachchhadar’s ideas. But after some hours they went their separate ways.