Lawmakers demand correcting weaknesses in draft constitution

Kathmandu, Aug. 12: Lawmakers have laid emphasis on the need of incorporating the people's wish and aspiration in the new constitution.

Stating that the preliminary draft of the new constitution brought before the people was not based on previous movements, consensus and agreements as well as it has not addressed the people's aspiration, they said that the draft constitution should be further amended to address its weaknesses and people's dissatisfaction.

Taking part in the discussion on the report submitted by the Constitutional Political Dialogue and Consensus Committee in the Constituent Assembly meeting today, lawmaker of the UCPN (Maoist), Ram Narayan Bidari demanded immediate promulgation of new statute by correcting weaknesses in the draft.    

Similarly, another lawmaker of the UCPN (Maoist), Shyam Kumar Shrestha (Kavrepalanchowk), demanded making Karnali an autonomous province and proportional representation of workers and farmers. He also raised question as to why people's suggestions were collected by spending state's resources if the public feedbacks were not to be incorporated in the new constitution.

Nepali Congress lawmaker Jeevan Bahadur Shahi also demanded declaring Karnali an autonomous province, saying special attention should be paid to make Karnali prosperous as the region is still grappling with unemployment and lack of education, among others.

Likewise, Mina Pun of the Rastriya Janamorcha Party said that nefarious politics has been taking place in the name of religion and demanded that only people who have acquired citizenship through descent should be appointed the head of the state and of the government, and the chiefs of constitutional bodies.  

Lawmaker from the Nepali Congress (NC) Bhotani Devi Khawas was of the view that the new constitution institutionalises the rights of the indigenous people in the Tarai, ensures  their proportional representation in every organ of the state and their rights to natural resources.

Another NC lawmaker Arjun Prasad Joshi said that district-level structures should be retained and constitutional bodies like the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) should be empowered with more authority. 

NC lawmaker Bahadur Singh Lama said that constitutional commission should be formed to institutionalise the rights of the Janajatis. He went on to say that the constitution should be acceptable to all people.

CPN-UML lawmaker Shiva Kumari Gotame said the new constitution should ensure the rights of the'long-suppressed' Dalit community.          

UML lawmaker Kriparam Rana demanded that autonomous Tharuwan state should be established in the new federal set-up in order to ensure the rights of Tharu community.

Lawmaker from the Rastriya Janamukti Party Sima Kumari BK said that it seems that there is no room in the constitution draft for the rights of Dalit community, calling for correction in the draft.

Lawmaker from the Rastriya Prajatantra Party Bikram Pandey demanded that the new constitution incorporates the provision for directly-elected Prime Minister with executive rights.

He further said that the existing five development regions should be developed as the federal provinces.

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