President Bhandari authenticates second amendment to the constitutionWith passage from both Houses of Parliament and the President’s approval, the new political map is now officially part of the constitution and the national emblem.
The second amendment to the constitution of Nepal received the presidential seal on Thursday evening, completing the entire process to incorporate the country’s new map in the national emblem.
The Parliament Secretariat forwarded the constitution amendment bill to President Bidya Devi Bhandari a few hours after the National Assembly endorsed it through a unanimous vote on Thursday.
“The amendment bill has been authenticated by the president as per Article 274 (10) of the constitution of Nepal,” reads a statement by Hari Prasad Dahal, spokesperson at the president’s office.
The bill to amend the constitution to update the new map, which depicts Limpiyadhura, Lipulekh and Kalapani within Nepali territory, was tabled at the Upper House on Sunday, a day after the House of Representatives unanimously endorsed it.
All 57 voting members of the Upper House voted for the bill. The 59-member strong National Assembly is currently one member short. National Assembly Chairperson Ganesh Timilsina did not participate in the voting as his vote is required only when there is a tie.
“As many as 57 members voted for the bill,” announced Timilsina. “There was no voting against the bill and none of the members voted for the neutral category as well.”
As per Article 274 (8), any amendment to the constitution requires the approval of two-thirds members from both the Houses of Parliament.
The bill had received 258 votes in the Lower House, with no lawmakers voting against it.
The National Assembly on Sunday had unanimously endorsed the proposal for the consideration of the amendment bill, allowing lawmakers 72 hours to register amendments, if any. No amendments were received in the Upper House, although the Lower House received one, which was later scrapped by the Speaker saying it contradicted the principle of the amendment bill.
The Cabinet, on May 20, had issued a new political and administrative map of the country, which includes Limpiyadhura, Lipulekh and Kalapani, areas that India too claims as its own. The government, two days later, registered a bill in Parliament, seeking to amend Schedule 3 of the constitution to update Nepal’s new political map in the national emblem.
Nepal decided to release its new political map after India on May 8 opened a link road via Lipulekh to Kailash Mansarovar in the Tibet Autonomous Region of China. Minister for Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Shiva Maya Tumbahangphe presented the amendment bill for the endorsement in the Upper House.
Speaking in the National Assembly to answer lawmakers’ concerns, Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli said that the endorsement of the amendment bill was a milestone towards reclaiming Nepal’s land.
“Both the Houses of Parliament demonstrated unparalleled unity in endorsing the bill. This is a historic achievement for Nepali,” said Oli.