KATHMANDU, May 25: The Supreme Court´s interim order stalling extension of the Constituent Assembly term has left political parties with no choice but to draft the constitution in the next three days or look for an alternative mechanism to complete the unfinished works. But as of Thursday evening, the political course ahead remains unclear.
At the worst, according to party leaders, the UCPN (Maoist) and Madhesi parties may push for a fresh election if consensus turns elusive and the leaders disagree to entrust a transformed parliament (parliament after CA dissolution) to complete the unfinished works.
Parties said they would begin discussions on resolving the contentious issues in constitution writing from Friday morning.
"We are holding discussions within and outside the party on how to proceed in the changed context," said Maoist Vice-chairman Narayankaji Shrestha.
Hours before the court verdict, the Maoists had decided to try to complete the constitution writing process by May 27 even if Constituent Assembly term was extended.
While the UCPN (Maoist) remains undecided about its position in the changed context, NC and CPN-UML are in favor of announcing the constitution and entrusting the transformed parliament to complete the unfinished works.
"We can reach consensus even in the remaining days. And if we fail to resolve all the contentious issues, unfinished works should be entrusted to the extended parliament," said CPN-UML Chairman Jhalanath Khanal.
Nepali Congress leader Ram Sharan Mahat spoke in a similar vein. "The contentious issues are the ones that will remain in the appendix of the constitution. So we can prepare the constitution even if we fail to resolve all the issues. We can entrust the transformed parliament to complete the unfinished works," said Mahat.
But the UCPN (Maoist) is yet to make its position on the issue clear. "We will discuss it in the party," said Shrestha. Party leaders told Republica that the parties are deeply divided over the number of the provinces to be formed in the Tarai. While the Maoists and the Madhes-based are in favor of two provinces in the Tarai, NC and CPN-UML want more provinces.
On Thursday, the prime minister told NC and CPN-UML leaders that the issue of federalism would not be resolved if they do not accept two provinces in the Tarai.
"There is disagreement over the number of provinces to be formed in the Tarai," said NC leader Minendra Rijal, who participated in the meeting of major parties on Thursday.
Meanwhile, top leaders of NC and CPN-UML on Thursday evening held a meeting in their bid to form a common position on the contentious issues of constitution writing.