KATHMANDU, May 27: With uncertainty looming over the new constitution as of late Saturday evening, the Mohan Baidya faction of the Maoist party has floated a proposal to amend Article 82 of the Interim Constitution so as to at least save parliament even if the Constituent Assembly (CA) is dissolved.
Maoist Vice-chairman Mohan Baidya and leader Dev Gurung floated the proposal during their meeting with Nepali Congress (NC) President Sushil Koirala on Saturday, according to a NC leader privy to the meeting.
The leader said that the constitutional provision can be amended in such a way that the dissolved CA will continue to function as a legislature-parliament to complete the unfinished work of constitution making and also own whatever work has been completed so far by the CA.
The existing provisions only provide that the work of the Constituent Assembly ends from the day of commencement of the costitution passed by the CA, and until the election of the legislature as set forth in the new constitution the business and proceedings of parliament shall be as set forth in the said new constitution.
The parliament floated by the Baidya faction will be different from a transformed one that has been discussed among parties, according to the NC leader. The transformed parliament could come into existence only if a draft of the constitution was promulgated, he said.
Gurung even confirmed that amendment of Article 82 has been discussed. "At some meeting, the amendment of Article 82 has surfaced," Gurung said when asked about their proposal.
The NC leader told Republica that the existing bill registered at the Constituent Assembly to amend Article 64 -- which relates to extending the term of the CA-- can be used to amend Article 82. For that purpose an amendment to the bill to amend Article 64 is required to be registered at parliament.
"If all the parties agree on this alternative, the amendment of Article 82 as proposed by the Baidya faction is technically possible," said a source at the CA familiar with procedural matters.
No-confidence move against PM
Meanwhile, the NC, CPN-UML and the Mohan Baidya faction have also started a move to register a no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai at parliament. Leaders said the parties may register the motion at parliament with the signatures of a majority of parliament members prior to the dissolution of the CA in case consensus eludes parties on the contentious issues of constitution making.
"Though such a move will not bear fruit following dissolution of the CA, it will create political and moral pressure on the prime minister to step down in the aftermath of CA dissolution. We will submit the signatures to the president before the CA is dissolved," said another NC leader, seeking anonymity.
According to NC leaders, their party on Saturday collected the signatures of its lawmakers for the purpose.