Ruling coalition decides to push for amendment despite obstruction

January 2, 2017 00:50 AM Republica

KATHMANDU, Jan 2: The ruling coalition has reached an understanding to table the constitution amendment bill in parliament despite the obstruction by the main opposition CPN-UML and eight other fringe parties.

"We'll make an attempt to table the amendment bill at Monday's House meeting. We'll try to convince the main opposition and develop a consensus with them. However, we cannot wait forever," said Chinkaji Shrestha, the chief-whip of the Nepali Congress.

"Obstructing the House and not letting the government to present bills could not be termed a democratic practice. I hope, the speaker will hold a meeting to develop consensus to end the obstruction. If the obstruction goes on for an inordinate period, we'll try to table the bill despite the obstruction," he added.

On the other hand, CPN-UML chief whip Bhanubhakta Dhakal said that the claim of tabling amendment bill despite House obstruction from the main opposition is just a propaganda of the ruling coalition.

If the ruling coalition tries to table the amendment bill amidst the ongoing hearings at the court and our objection in parliament, we'll do the needful to remind the ruling coalition that we are also present in parliament: CPN-UML chief whip Bhanubhakta Dhakal

"The Supreme Court has been conducting hearings on a writ petition filed against the registration of the amendment bill. The government and the Parliament Secretariat are sending attorneys and advocates to defend their move in the court. At this point, the claim of tabling the bill despite obstruction is just a propaganda meant for public consumption," said Dhakal.

"If the ruling coalition tries to table the amendment bill amidst the ongoing hearings at the court and our objection in parliament, we'll do the needful to remind the ruling coalition that we are also present in parliament," he added.

Ahead of the House meeting on Monday, the main opposition CPN-UML and eight other parties in the opposition of the bill have been holding meetings to make strategies to foil the possible move of the ruling coalition to table the bill. 

According to Dhakal, the UML has also called a meeting of its parliamentary party for Monday to discuss the latest political scenario.

"We have been clearly saying that the amendment bill is unconstitutional and we'll not allow the tabling of an unconstitutional in parliament," said Dhakal.

Hearings on petitions challenging amendment continue
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court on Sunday started hearings on two separate writ petitions -- one filed by Advocate Tikadhwaj Khadka and another by former lawmaker Bishnu Bahadur Raut and seven others -- against the amendment bill. A division bench of Chief Justice Sushila Karki and Ishwar Prasad Khatiwada will conduct continuous hearings on the petitions on Monday also.

The petitioners have claimed that the amendment bill, which proposes change in the provincial delineation, is unconstitutional as the Clause 4 of Article 274 states that an amendment bill related with the alteration in the borders of any state must be sent to the provincial assembly for its consent, within thirty days after its introduction in the federal parliament. The petitioners have also argued that the amendment on provincial boundaries would not be possible without electing provincial assemblies. 

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