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More complications surface in constitution writing

Kathmandu: Constitution writing process has grown more complicated by the day. After failing to resolve all disputed issues through consensus, lead political parties and the Madheshi Front had decided to resolve the issues through majority based voting. But on Thursday this method also faced technical glitches, adding more complications to an already messed-up affair.

The Constitutional Committee, who’s Secretariat was handed down the responsibility to prepare questionnaires of disputed constitutional issues, asked more time to do so. Stressing on the need to consult experts and lawmakers to prepare the questionnaires, the CC asked additional time to finalize its task.

The request has stalled the majority-based voting procedures to resolve disputed issues till Sunday, at the least. This delay will now affect the time line necessary to prepare the first draft of the constitution.

After holding consultations with experts and lawmakers, the CC is expected to meet on Friday. “Discussions are centered on simplifying the questionnaires,” CC Chair Nilambar Acharay said adding that the issues not resolved in Friday’s meeting will be added to the questionnaires.

Decision to review the questionnaires was taken by the CC following suggestions that most of the issues included in the list of disputed issues, were not ‘objective’ in nature. Along with that, parties are also mulling on including various propositions provided during various rounds of inter-party talks in the questionnaires.

Lead political leaders also informed that they have decided to finalize the questionnaires only after holding consultations with experts. “We discussed on taking expert’s advice to further simplify the questionnaires,” NC Vice President Ram Chandra Paudel said.

Meanwhile the CC has decided to prepare questionnaires related to disputed issues other than state restructuring and forms of governance and table them in the CA, also continuing discussions on disputed issues at the same time, informed NC lawmaker Ramesh Lekhak. “Issues that are less complicated and those not related to core structure will be gradually set into process. It will take four-five days, if all issues are to be set into the process in one go,” Lekhak added.

However fringe parties have protested against the decision to resolve all issues in a single sweep and within a short time frame. “Lead political leaders did not garner consensus for four years. Now they cannot put the total issues on the head of 601 lawmakers,” said Rashtriya Janashakti Party’s lawmaker Dr. Prakash Lohani. “It will take one week at the least to simplify complicated issues,” said Lohani ruling out an early simplification of the disputed issues.

The CC had geared up to prepare the questionnaires since Wednesday, after lead parties had decided to opt for majority based voting in the CA to resolve disputed issues. Preparations are afoot to prepare the questionnaires by simplifying the earlier 117 disputed issues.
The Dispute Resolution Sub-Committee has failed to resolve disputes related to state restructuring and forms of governance till Thursday, despite holding rounds of discussions.

Published Date: Thursday, May 10th, 2012 | 07:22 AM

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