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News Analysis: Nepal's constitution logjam prolongs

English.news.cn   2014-08-26 11:50:43

KATHMANDU, Aug. 25 (Xinhua) -- Nepal's political parties are making little effort to resolve the contentious issues of the new constitution, party leaders and observers said on Monday.

four contentious issues including federalism, forms of governance, judiciary and electoral system should be resolved by the first week of September to prepare a first draft of the new constitution.

However, there has not been any intensive discussion among parties to resolve these issues. Parties are holding discussions, but the cross-party agreement fails to make any substantial progress.

A fresh dispute on the formation of High Level Political Committee (HLPC) has shadowed the talks on the contentious issues of the new constitution.

The main opposition party UCPN (Maoist) has said HLPC should be formed under the leadership of its chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal to steer the ongoing peace and constitution drafting process on which ruling parties Nepali Congress and CPN-UML do not agree.

Parties had agreed to form HLPC just after the Constituent Assembly (CA) election but ruling parties NC and UML backtracked from their previous commitment. The opposition party UCPN (Maoist) wants to form such body saying that it should get a vital role in the constitution drafting process.

Political leaders confess that it would be difficult to settle those thorny issues which led to the dissolution of the previous Constituent Assembly (CA) without delivering a new constitution.

Federalism remains one of the prickly houses in Nepal on which major parties are sharply divided.

"It is very challenging to settle the contentious issues of the new constitution within first week of September but there are the chances of eleventh hour agreement," said UCPN leader and Former Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai.

Bhattarai is leading a Political Dialogue and Consensus Committee (PDCC) of the CA which is responsible to settle all the contentious issues of the new constitution.

To prepare the first draft of constitution within September, parties plan to take it to the people to seek their suggestions and promulgate new constitution within February next year.

But the future of constitution depends on how parties hand the issue of federalism which is a serious one.

"Parties will have to settle all the issues within the deadline because failure to do the tasks will hamper the constitution drafting process," CA Chairman Subas Nembang told a group of journalist on Sunday.

UCPN and Madhes-based parties are saying that there should be ethnic federalism on which ruling parties disagree. The opposition parties' push for more provinces in the hilly region and less in the Madhes is another bone of contention among parties in Nepal.

The second CA elected from election in November last year has already taken the ownership of the progress made by previous CA which has narrowed down the tasks of writing a new constitution.

Editor: Yang Yi
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