Nepal banks on all-party conference to draft constitution on time

  • Utpal Parashar, Hindustan Times, Kathmandu
  • Updated: Sep 14, 2014 16:41 IST

Political parties in Nepal will take part in a national conference this Tuesday to try and address contentious issues related to the country’s proposed new constitution.

Leaders of 31 parties represented in the constituent assembly and 33 others who are not hope to find common grounds on the contentious issues of forms of government, federalism, judiciary and electoral system.

The move is an attempt to accommodate the 33-party alliance led by Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist, a breakaway Maoist faction, which had boycotted last year’s constituent assembly elections.

“Suggestions put forward by all parties will be compiled and submitted to leaders of major parties for further action,” CPN-M spokesperson Pampha Bhusal told journalists.

Though there is no decision yet on how the suggestions would find their way into the new statute, parties believe decisions taken in the conference could help promulgate the constitution on schedule.

Following last year’s election, parties represented in the constituent assembly had set January 22 next year as the deadline to draft the new constitution.

There is apprehension that instead of addressing the contentious issues, the one-day conference could take much longer to resolve them thus delaying the statute drafting process.

Earlier this month, a constituent assembly committee missed a deadline to forge consensus among lawmakers on these issues.

Nepal’s first constituent assembly was dissolved in 2012, without drafting a constitution, after political parties failed to agree on the same issues that will be raised in Tuesday’s conference.

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