Friday, November 18, 2011

PM proposes CA term extension for six months ‘Situation demands extension of CA tenure’

By A Staff Reporter

Kathmandu, Nov 17, Prime Minister Dr. Baburam Bhattarai Thursday proposed for extension of the Constitution Assembly (CA) tenure for another six months to promulgate the new constitution after the expiry of its current tenure on November 30.

He informed the three-party meeting held at the Ministry of Peace and Re-construction, Singha Durbar that the government was mulling over the term extension.

"The Prime Minister told the meeting that the situation demanded extension of the tenure of CA," UML leader Bhim Rawal told The Rising Nepal after the meeting.

Rawal said NC and his party leaders told the PM to wait until their parties decided on the matter.

Nepali Congress leader Arjun Narsingh KC told journalists that NC and UML replied to the PM that it was not the time to discuss the issue.

"We said to the PM that the extension will depend on the progress in the peace process and the return of the seized property as per the seven point agreement," he said.

Earlier, the CA tenure was extended for three times.

However, the meeting failed to garner consensus on proposed experts panel in the place of the State Restructuring Commission by amending the interim constitution.

The ruling UCPN-Maoist, main opposition Nepali Congress and CPN-UML high level leaders decided to sit again on Friday to finalize the TOR of the proposed experts’ panel.

NC vice-chairman Ram Chandra Poudel informed that the next meeting would give the finalise the issue of interim constitution amendment.

UML leader Surendra Pandey said the TOR of the proposed experts’ panel would be prepared tomorrow before the scheduled parliamentary meeting.

"The TOR will include the concerns, amendment proposals in the House and the CA committee’s reports," he said.

However, UCPN-Maoist faction of Mohan Baidhya said the meeting could not reach any conclusion.

"We will not accept the amendment proposal bypassing the CA committee reports," he said.

The Baidhya faction lawmakers affiliated to Janajati caucus, among others, had registered amendment proposal on the 11th amendment bill that authorises the Constituent Assembly to form a panel of experts to seek advice on the restructuring of the state.

The lawmakers fear that the constitutionally recognised experts’ panel could nullify recommendations made by the CA Committee on Restructuring of the State and Devolution of State Powers.

On Thursday, leaders of NC and UML held talks prior to the three-party talks. UML leader Surendra Pandey informed that his party would withdraw its amendment proposal.

NC general secretary Krishna Sitaula informed that the proposed experts’ panel should give suggestions on state restructuring keeping in mind the constitutional sprit.

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