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Buying time

Thursday, February 5th, 2015

The CA’s Proposal Drafting Committee (PDC), which has been tasked with preparing questions on the key issues of the new constitution, has got five more days to finish its task.

The CA on Thursday extended the PDC’s deadline despite sloganeering by the Hindu royalist RPP (Nepal), which is up in arms against the NC and the UML’s decision to exclude questions on necessity of federalism, republicanism and secularism.

The PDC is preparing questions only on issues like basis of federalism, form of governance, restructuring of the state, electoral system and judiciary. The questions prepared by the PDC will be voted in the CA. On the results of the voting on these issues, the new constitution will be drafted.

The PDC sought more time as it failed to finish its task before its previous five-day deadline ended on Wednesday.

Although extension of the PDC deadline looks a technical issue, it is guided by political reasons as well. By extending the PDC’s deadline, the NC and the UML have bought some time to carry out negotiations with the opposition UCPN (Maoist)-Madhesi parties.

After the CA formed the PDC despite sloganeering by the main opposition on 25 January, the UCPN (Maoist) and Madhesi have been boycotting meetings of all CA sub-committees. Even on Thursday when the CA extended the PDC’s deadline, lawmakers from the UCPN (Maoist), Madhesi and other fringe parties were absent.

The UCPN (Maoist) and Madhesi parties have demanded dissolution of the PDC as a precondition for resumption of talks with the NC and the UML.

CP Mainali, a member of the PDC, said: “The ruling and opposition parties need to use the time given by this deadline extension for talks and negotiations.” According to Mainali, even after the new deadline ends five days later, there will be still more time for talks.

“The questions will not be put for a vote as soon as they are prepared,” said Mainali. “There will be time for the CA members to read and understand all the questions. And this time can also be utilized for negotiations.”

Agni Kharel, the PDC’s coordinator, says extension of the deadline is not a politically calculate move but can be used to conduct informal and formal talks between the two sides. “Let’s see how the opposition will use this chance,” said he.

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One Response to “Buying time”

  1. Guest on Says:

    Of course. Talks, talks, talks, talks. And we the people pay, pay, pay for their endless talks. Quite frankly, why is this a “people’s constitution” when only a handful of top politicains from the biggest parties are writing it? We the people don’t have any say in it. In fact, neither do the majority of the 601 elected representatives!

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