Youth leaders press NC, UML chiefs for statute by May 27
KATHMANDU, May 21: A group of 25 central committee members from the Nepali Congress (NC) and CPN-UML have jointly appealed to the chiefs of the two parties to work for promulgating the new constitution by May 27, without having to extend the tenure of the Constituent Assembly (CA) again.
The central committee members, who are also noted youth leaders, have said that the May 15 deal reached among the major political forces over the major disputes in constitution writing should be the basis for the new statute.
"If any party or party leader backs out of the agreement that will be a move against the writing of the new constitution and will push the country into further uncertainty. That is very clear and there should be no confusion about this," reads the statement jointly issued by the party leaders from the second and third largest parties in the CA.
Those pressing the top leaders to promulgate the new constitution by May 27 include N P Saud, Chandra Bhandari, Dhanraj Gurung, Surendra Raj Pandey, Shankar Bhandari, Gagan Thapa, Badri Pandey, Jivan Pariyar and Ajay Dubedi from the NC. Those from UML are Prakash Jwala, Arun Nepal, Khagaraj Adhikari, Ghanshyam Bhusal, Bhanubhakta Joshi, Yogesh Bhattarai, Bhanubhakta Dhakal, Bijay Kumar Paudel, Netra Prasad Panthi, Jagannath Khatiwada, Dilli Bahadur Mahat, Karna Thapa, Mahamood Alam, Jivanram Shrestha, Baijnath Chaudhary and Yognarayan Yadav.
Some of them are also CA members.
They said any move to extend the CA term yet again will be irrational on political and constitutional grounds.
On state restructuring, they have suggested to the top leaders to entrust a federal commission with the responsibility of naming and delineating the various provinces. But they said the legislature-parliament should be the final authority to decide on these matters. "We believe that the provinces should be delineated on the basis of neutral identities that are common to the Tarai, the Hills and the Himalayan region," said the statement.
They are likewise for ensuring that the local bodies have constitutional authority related to administrative, political and development activities, under the new constitution.
However, they said the number of lawmakers proposed by the political parties in the May 15 agreement is too large and urged a significant reduction in the number.
Criticize Dahal for remarks
Taking strong exception to UCPN(Maoist) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal´s recent remarks that were "tantamount to disturbing communal harmony and inciting one community against another", they have suggested to the top leaders of NC and the UML to raise the issue seriously with the Maoist leaders during inter-party talks. They have demanded that the Maoists apologize in public for the remarks.
Dahal last week had told leaders from agitating ethnic and indigenous communities to take to the streets and counter those protesting against ethnicity-based federalism.
The NC and UML leaders also condemned attacks on media persons during the street protests that started Sunday.