KATHMANDU, May 14: Standing committee meeting of CPN-UML has decided to work for promulgation of new constitution by May 27 even if some of the disputes mainly related to state restructuring remain unresolved by the time.
UML Vice-Chairman Bamdev Gautam said the party took the decision as there was no alternative to promulgating the new constitution before the tenure of the Constituent Assembly (CA) expires on May 27.
"We are for promulgating the new constitution by settling all the remaining issues by forging consensus among the major political forces. But if a couple of issues remain unresolved, we can promulgate the new constitution and mandate the legislature-parliament to decide on the remaining issues," Gautam said after the meeting at UML´s parliamentary party office in Singha Durbar on Monday.
He explained they were compelled to suggest the idea due to time constraints.
The current 601-seat CA also works as legislature-parliament besides shouldering the responsibility of constitution writing. As per the interim constitution, once the new constitution is promulgated its role as the CA will come to an end, but will continue to function as legislature-parliament until a new parliament is elected.
"The same 601-seat Assembly that will be given continuity as parliament can settle the remaining issues. Therefore, we are for entrusting the legislature with the responsibility instead of mulling over the option of extending the CA tenure," said Gautam.
On state restructuring, Gautam said, the UML was open to any one of the three options -- seven-province, eight-province or 11-province models.
"We can declare the number of provinces and can mandate the parliament to decide on their names and their borders," he further clarified. Also, leaders were mulling over the options of mandating the provincial assemblies with the responsibility of finalizing the name and a high-level commission with the task of delineation.
UML censures Dahal remarks
CPN-UML standing committee on Monday took strong exception to the remarks of UCPN (Maoist) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal, who had urged representatives of ethnic and indigenous communities to take to the street and to counter the "protests launched by anti-federalists".
After standign committee´s meeting, UML Vice-Chairman Bamdev Gautam said Dahal´s remarks were objectionable. "The way UCPN (Maoist) Chairman spoke to representatives of ethnic communities is tantamount to inciting ethnic conflict. It is objectionable," said Gautam. He said the UML criticizes the Maoist chairman´s remarks and cautions him not to express such statements in future.
Scores of representatives from ethnic and indigenous communities had reached Dahal´s residence on Sunday where he told them they needed to take to the street as ´anti-federal elements´ had intensified their campaign against federalism in the recent days.
He had asked representatives to strongly lobby for adoption of ´ethnicity-based federalism´ as he was lobbying for the same at the inter-party negotiations.