Ruling coalition, oppn headed for showdownAs things stand, the ruling coalition of CPN (Maoist Centre) and Nepali Congress is likely to table the constitution amendment bill in Parliament on Monday even as the main opposition CPN-UML says it will foil the bid at any cost.
As things stand, the ruling coalition of CPN (Maoist Centre) and Nepali Congress is likely to table the constitution amendment bill in Parliament on Monday even as the main opposition CPN-UML says it will foil the bid at any cost. In such a scenario, a major confrontation is likely in the House if both the government and the opposition stick to their guns.
But the parties could also take more time to find common ground on the amendment proposal, with Parliament obstructed for the sixth time in the past 19 days since the amendment bill was registered on November 29.
In a planned meeting with Speaker Onasari Gharti on Monday morning, both the sides are likely to reiterate their stances, say leaders. Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal has already said the amendment bill would be tabled at any cost on Monday. On the other hand, the UML has made it clear it would thwart any move to table the bill for discussion in Parliament. Nepali Congress Chief Whip Chinkaji Shrestha said they would discuss with the top leaders their plans to table the amendment bill later on Monday.
“As the ruling coalition, it’s natural for us to be willing to table the amendment bill. We will certainly try our best to do it tomorrow. The UML can’t go against the democratic practices by continuing to obstruct Parliament,” Shrestha said. “On one hand, they say they want the polls. But on the other, they are derailing our attempts to begin deliberations on election-related bills by impeding parliamentary business.”
The governing parties and the main opposition were earlier said to have reached an understanding to put the amendment bill on hold and go for the local elections.
However, on Saturday, PM Dahal and NC President Sher Bahadur Deuba reportedly assured leaders of the Samyukta Loktantrik Madhesi Morcha, at whose insistence the government had registered the statute amendments, that the bill would be tabled and revisions made in Parliament.
Sadbhawana Party Chairman Rajendra Mahato said the Madhesi Morcha would vote in favour of the amendment bill. Terming the proposal as an “achievement”, he said the regional parties would continue to fight for other demands after passing the amendments.
UML vice-chairman Bamdev Gautam claimed that there could be a scuffle in Parliament on Monday. “We have heard that the ruling coalition is adamant on tabling the bill. If that is the case, we are ready to face it with whatever it takes to counter their move,” said Gautam.
An option for the governing parties would be to deploy marshals to proceed with the House business if the UML carries on with the obstruction. A minister, however, said the chances of using marshals to corner opposition lawmakers were slim.
Statute amendments tabling in house
- Ruling coalition adamant on tabling amendment bill
- Main opposition CPN-UML bent on foiling such move
- Rajendra Mahato says Morcha will vote in favour of bill with reservations
- Deploying marshals in Parliament likely
PM criticises UML for blocking crucial agendas
BIRATNAGAR: Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal has said important tasks such as constitution amendment, impeachment motion against suspended CIAA chief commissioner Lokman Singh Karki and the election-related bills were halted due to the obstruction of Parliament by the main opposition CPN-UML.
Talking to reporters at Biratnagar Airport on Sunday, the PM said any attempts, deliberate or not, to stop such important agendas are unfortunate.
Dahal, who chairs the CPN (Maoist Centre), said the election date would be announced soon after the stalemate ends. Addressing party cadres later, Dahal said he would not step down before amending the constitution and holding the local body elections. (PR)