Nepal’s tryst with a new constitution will have to wait some more time as the country’s lawmakers missed another deadline to promulgate the much-awaited document on Thursday.
With no solution in sight, leaders of ruling and opposition parties were busy holding consultations till late evening. They are expected to issue a joint statement saying sorry for missing the deadline and assuring Nepali citizens of promulgating the constitution soon.
Differences between ruling and opposition parties on types of government, judiciary, federalism and electoral systems and also whether the statute should be drafted through consensus or majority voting were reasons for failure. Earlier, proceedings of the constituent assembly, which had remained disrupted since Monday night following vandalism and scuffle by Maoist lawmakers with security personnel, remained affected on Thursday as well.
Sloganeering by opposition members forced Speaker Subhash Nemwang to postpone proceedings. His requests to members to let proceedings take place fell on deaf ears.
“The entire country and the world are looking at us. Even now we can talk and find consensus,” said Nemwang before postponing proceedings at 2:30 pm.
Opposition parties led by Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) want the constitution to be drafted through consensus while ruling parties, Nepali Congress and Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist Leninist), are insisting that since efforts at consensus have failed it should be adopted through majority voting.
This is not the first time Nepal’s lawmakers have missed a constitution deadline. The country’s first constituent assembly (elected in 2008) was dissolved in May 2012 after it failed to draft a constitution.