KATHMANDU, Sept 16: Madhes-based political parties are divided over whether to revive the defunct Constituent Assembly (CA) or seek a fresh mandate to promulgate the new constitution.
"Political parties must reach consensus on thorny issues in constitution writing," said Madhesi People´s Rights Forum-Republican (MPRF-R) Rajkishor Yadav, adding, "Once parties forge consensus, CA should be revived for a short time to endorse the new constitution."
However, Yadav, who is also the information and communications minister, said CA revival would not be acceptable to them before the parties forge consensus on contentious issues of the new constitution.
General Secretary of Tarai Madhes Democratic Party (TMDP) Dan Bahadur Chaudhari, however, said they are open to both the options. "CA can be revived for a short time, if Nepali Congress (NC) and the CPN-UML show flexibility on issues of federalism and system of governance," said Chaudhari, adding, "If not, the country should go for a fresh election."
Vice-chairman of Sadbhawana Party Laxman Lal Karna said if political parties fail to forge consensus on the number of federal states recommended by majority members of the erstwhile State Restructuring Commission (SRC), the party would go for a fresh election.
“A new constitution guaranteeing 10 federal states should be promulgated, but if there are objections from political parties, it would only be proper to go for a fresh election," Lal maintained.
Similarly, MPRF Chairman Upendra Yadav said there are no constitutional, political and moral grounds for revival of the dissolved CA. "The Supreme Court verdict and the interim constitution do not allow CA revival," argued Yadav, adding, "There is no alternative to holding fresh polls.”
He also said that reviving the dissolved CA would not guarantee the new constitution as it had failed to promulgate a new constitution even during its four-year term.
Central committee member of National Madhes Socialist Party (NMSP) Pramod Gupta said the new constitution should be promulgated by the new CA. "Our party is in favor of a fresh election," said Gupta.