Millennium Post

Nepal to miss another constitution deadline

Disruptions and chaos prevailed in Nepal’s Constituent Assembly with warring political parties not budging from their positions on contentious issues of Constitution drafting as failure in meeting Thursday deadline for framing the document seemed inevitable.

Opposition lawmakers kept on chanting slogans and rushed to the well of the Constituent Assembly even as Chairman Subas Nembang was addressing the meeting.

The UCPN (Maoist)-led alliance of 19 parties has been obstructing the Constituent Assembly (CA) meet since Monday to prevent the process of forming a Questionnaire Committee for resolving the sticky issues of Constitution through a vote. The opposition leaders including Maoist supremo Prachanda, Vice-chairman Baburam Bhattarai and Madhesi Peoples Rights Forum Nepal president Upendra Yadav, shouted anti-government slogans and encircled the rostrum as soon as the meeting started.

Other lawmakers belonging to Joint Madhesi Front and fringe parties also joined the Maoists in obstructing the CA meeting, demanding the drafting of the Constitution through consensus rather than through voting.

After disruptions and chaos reigned in the assembly for the better part of the day, top leaders of four major political forces -- Nepali Congress, CPN-UML, UCPN-Maoist and Madhesi Front-- informally held a meeting inside the Constituent Assembly building. In the presence of the Chairman, they sat together to discuss the future course of the Constituent Assembly, and how to move ahead as today’s midnight deadline was ending without delivering the statute. Ruling and opposition parties have been staging separate demonstrations outside the Parliament building amidst heightened security to prevent possible clashes. More than 1,500 armed policemen have been deployed in and around the Parliament building to prevent any untoward incident. The ruling and opposition alliances are sharply divided on key issues of the Constitution drafting including federal structure and forms of governance.

Agencies

Agencies

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