Government gears up for statute revisionEven as formal dialogue with the disgruntled parties is yet to begin, the government has started preparations to register a constitution amendment proposal to address the issues of constituency delineation and proportional representation of marginalised groups.
Even as formal dialogue with the disgruntled parties is yet to begin, the government has started preparations to register a constitution amendment proposal to address the issues of constituency delineation and proportional representation of marginalised groups.
Prime Minister Sushil Koirala had committed to addressing these two issues right before voting began in the Constituent Assembly on the Constitution Bill on September 13.
“An amendment proposal will be tabled immediately after the House session starts on October 2,” said Bimalendra Nidhi, minister for physical infrastructure and transport, who held two meetings with the PM on Friday and Sunday.
Two amendments, one relating to constituency delimitation based on population and geography—restoring the provision in the Interim Constitution—and another aimed at firmly establishing inclusive and proportional representation of the
marginalised groups, will be registered.
The new constitution provisions 165 electoral constituencies under the first-past-the-post system. The delimitation would be undertaken by an Election Constituency Demarcation Commission to be formed later.
“We have been demanding that the electoral constituencies should be drawn the basis of population,” said Nidhi. Ahead of the vote on the new constitution, top leaders of the major political parties had agreed to set the electoral constituencies on the basis of the population.
If the constituencies are redrawn on the basis of population, as well as geography, Tarai-Madhes is expected to get 82 constituencies out of the 165 provisioned in the constitution. In his discussion with Nidhi, PM agreed that he would direct the Ministry of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs to prepare a proposal.
“If this amendment to redraw the constituencies is approved, I believe that a key demand of the agitating Madhes based parties will be addressed,” said Nidhi.