KATHMANDU, April 24: Constituent Assembly’s (CA) meeting on Monday was deferred until Thursday as politicians from major parties sought two more days to resolve their differences and reach common ground on key issues in the new federal constitution.
The CA secretariat issued a notice announcing the postponement after the CA’s Business Advisory Committee (BAC), which allocates time for various meetings, agreed to defer the meeting.
Nepali Congress (NC) parliamentary party leader Ram Chandra Paudel said they sought more time as some of the key disputes were yet to be resolved.
“We are planning to hold more talks in the next two days and also plan to hold meetings of the dispute resolution subcommittee and Constitutional Committee. Therefore, we decided to suggest to the BAC and the secretariat to hold CA meeting only on Thursday,” Paudel told reporters. He claimed the politicians were confident of resolving the remaining disputes in a day or two.
The BAC had earlier instructed the Constitutional Committee (CC) and the dispute resolution subcommittee to settle all the remaining disputes or to be prepared to hold a vote on the contentious issues. The CA meeting on Monday was to have voted on disputed issues.
But politicians chose to defer the meeting sensing that voting on fundamental issues such as the system of governance and state restructuring may boomerang in the constitution writing process.
Leaders and officials closely involved in the statute drafting process believe that deciding the issues through votes may further complicate the process because once the CA votes political parties may further harden their positions and may not be ready for compromise during final endorsement of the new constitution.
Currently the disputes can be decided through a majority vote in the 601-seat CA, but the final draft of the statute must be endorsed by a two-thirds majority. For that, consensus among at least major political parties such as UCPN (Maoist), Nepali Congress (NC) and CPN-UML is a must.