Over 140 lawmakers seek revision of Nepal's draft constitution
By News Desk
05 September 2015

KATHMANDU (The Kathmandu Post/ANN)- In a sign of growing dissent on the draft constitution, over 140 Nepali Congress CA members from various groups register amendment proposals at the party’s Parliamentary Party office

In a sign of growing dissent on the draft constitution, over 140 Nepali Congress CA members from various groups on Friday registered amendment proposals at the party’s Parliamentary Party (PP) office.

In a separate move, Shekhar Koirala became the first NC lawmaker to table a separate amendment bid at the Constituent Assembly Secretariat. Groups including Madhesis, Adivasis, Janajatis, Tharus, Muslims and women have registered amendment proposals on the Constitution Bill. There are also individual proposals for the statute draft revision from dissatisfied CA members such as Arjun Narsingh KC, Jagadish Narsingh KC, Gagan Thapa, Gita Pandey and others representing Baglung, Nawalparasi, Rukum districts.

On behalf of the business community, CA member Umesh Shrestha tabled an amendment proposal at the office. The NC has 196 members in the CA in total.
The CA secretariat has given parties and individual CA members until Saturday to propose amendments.

“I am collecting the papers. I cannot say right now how many have been registered. Those who registered separate proposals in the CA Secretariat have defied the party’s instruction,” said NC Chief Whip Chin Kaji Shrestha.

He asked Koirala to withdraw his proposal as per the decision of the NC Central Working Committee, the PP office stated on Friday.

In a 25-point memorandum submitted to Prime Minister Sushil Koirala, the party president, 45 CA members from the Tarai and Tharu constituencies have urged him to revisit the proposed seven-province model, calling for three states in Tarai-Madhes as per a decision of the party’s Mahasamiti.

They also urged the party leadership to remove terms like ‘armed conflict’ and ‘socialism-oriented…’ from the preamble, to grant either father or mother the right to pass on citizenship to their children, and proportional representation of various groups in state entities.

Fifty-three female CA members also submitted their amendment papers to the party calling for a constitution that ensures their representation in all levels of elected posts. As many as 22 CA members representing Adivasi and Janajati clusters also submitted a nine-point amendment proposal.

CA member Usha Gurung said the NC should stand for at least what was ensured in the Interim Constitution. “Out of the five achievements reflected in the Interim Constitution--federalism, secularism, republicanism, inclusiveness and equal representation, if one is removed, the other four will fade gradually,” she said.

They demanded setting up a constitutional Adivasi Janajati Commission, guarantee of the rights of Adivasis and Janajatis as fundamental rights, equal representation of the communities in various state entities and implementation of the international obligations and conventions that Nepal is a party to.
Eleven Dalit CA members from the party urged the leadership to ensure them 13 per cent representation in the state mechanism, according to lawmaker Man Bahadur Bishwokarma.

They also sought Dalits’ representation in the local level with at least three seats in village, four in town and one in ward level allotted to them.

Five Tharu CA members separately tabled a proposal urging the party to resolve through dialogue the standoff in Kailali where nine people were killed.

Koirala urged removing the term secularism and the provision for constitutional court, calling for devising a multi-party system based on pluralism as the nature of the state. He also urged an end to the practice of parliamentary hearing of constitutional appointees and ambassadors.

Thapa sought provision for a directly-elected prime minister. KC and other lawmakers demanded that Nepal should be called a multi-religious country. They also urged the removal of the provision for no confidence motion against the PM within the first two years of appointment.

Lawmakers from Salyan, Baglung, Rukum and Nawalparasi urged the party leadership not to split the district while drawing the federal map.

Demands galore

45 CA members from the Tarai and Tharu constituencies urge PM to revisit the 7-state model, calling for three states in Tarai
53 female CA members call for a constitution that ensures their representation in all levels of elected posts
22 CA members representing Adivasi and Janajati clusters seek their proportional representation in state mechanism
11 Dalit CA members demand 13 per cent representation in state bodies

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