CPDCC gets 5 days to prepare revised draft constitution

Kathmandu, Aug. 12: The Constituent Assembly meeting today allocated a maximum of five days to the Constitution Drafting Committee (CDC) for preparing the revised bill of the constitution and tabling it in the Assembly.

Before this, the CA meeting passed with majority, the proposal seeking to forward the report of the Constitutional- Political Dialogue and Consensus Committee along with the proposal to make necessary revisions on it, to the CDC.

The CA has directed the CDC to complete all works as maintaining uniformity in the draft, incorporating and adjusting the other required topics and revising the draft within five days.

Speaking on the occasion, CA chairman Subas Nembang said that the basis for revising the draft of the constitution has been prepared and the CPDCC has, by constituting the Special Committee, expressed the commitment to complete the constitution writing process by means of dialogue and consensus.

The CA chair also stressed on the need of keeping the dialogue and consensus at the centre in the process of drafting the new constitution.

Responding to queries raised by lawmakers on the report submitted by CPDCC, Committee Chairman Dr Baburam Bhattarai said the political parties and the CA should be continuously involved for the protection of the country's independence.

Bhattarai clarified that the new constitution would be written based on the balance of state power and added that all should involve in people's welfare by protecting the achievements of democracy after promulgating the new constitution.

Stating that constitution writing process has been forwarded on the basis of the 19-day people's movement, the Comprehensive Peace Accord (CPA), the Maoist rebellion and Madhesi movement, he said that the constitution would protect the rights of backward communities in course of preparing a common document  that will balance the existing power.

Admitting  the truth that the preliminary draft of the constitution failed to incorporate aspiration and sentiments of all, the CPDCC Chairman  clarified that the constitution writing process has been taken ahead as per the CPA.

He further said that disputes raised over the issue of religion would be settled in a right way and an arrangement has been made to provide citizenship through the name of mother or father.

Chairman Bhattarai said that necessary change could be made in days ahead on the issue of delineation of federal states as the present draft was not the final one. He said six federal provinces were proposed by holding discussions with experts and specialists and common identity has been given to them.

Admitting to some faults on their part in relation to language, religious identity and caste while making the constitution draft, he pledged corrections in the days to come.

Saying that a special area would be formed in a single state in the new federal set-up and aspirations of all groups and castes would be addressed, he said that past administrative structures might be retained or amended in the new constitution.

Bhattarai said that the special committee of the CPDCC would soon sort out remaining disputed issues of the constitution including autonomous Tharuwan state as demanded by Tharu community. "Let's stop agitations and move ahead with consensus," he said.

Similarly, NC lawmaker Pruna Bahadur Khadka alleged that the on-going struggle in the Mid-West has been fuelled by some certain groups with their political interests.

He said that there are various alternatives to address the demands of the agitators like developing Karnali zone, Tharuwan and Magarat as autonomous regions in the new federal set-up.

Draft on new constitution not as per public feedback       

UCPN (Maoist) lawmaker Girirajmani Pokharel spoke of the need to douse the agitation waged in various places across the country, protesting at the time when the likelihood of delivery of constitution with demarcation of the federal units was high.

He was of the opinion that although majority of the public had demanded for directly elected executive head, the revised draft failed to incorporate the sentiments of the public.

Poudel went on to blame that the draft still excluded the provision securing the welfare of those oppressed community.

Furthermore, lawmaker Poudel also suggested to pay attention towards resolving the issue of demarcation as well as towards addressing the feelings of the public on issues like republic, federalism, secularism, inclusiveness and proportional representation.

A total of 181 Constituent Assembly members participated in the two-day deliberations on the report prepared by the Constitutional- Political Dialogue Consensus Committee and submitted to the Constituent Assembly (CA). 

The meeting of the CA has been postponed until the next notice. CA Chairperson Subash Nembang announced today's meeting was over.

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