Most issues resolved or neared resolution (UPDATED)
KATHMANDU: Lead political parties including the Madheshi Front, on Tuesday, made substantial progress in resolving most of the outstanding issues of the constitution-in-making.
Maoist, NC, UML and Front leaders reached understanding in principle on electoral system and neared consensus on forms of governance and state restructuring.
It has been agreed to adopt a mixed electoral system comprising of 55 percent directly elected and 45 percent proportionally selected members. Though parties had agreed on adopting this model on Tuesday, they were not able to finalize the proportions.
“Three party and Madheshi Front have agreed to adopt a mixed electoral system comprising of 55 percent directly elected MPs and 45 percent proportionally selected MPs,” NC leader Dr. Ram Sharan Mahat said to correspondents.
UML leader Surendra Pandey added that a total of 385 MPs will be elected and selected through the mixed electoral system to the bicameral central legislative parliament.
The Lower House will have 325 and Upper House will have 60 seats. 180 MPs will be directly elected and 145 MPs will be proportionally represented in the Lower House. A total of 50 MPs will be directly elected to the Upper House, whatever the number of provinces, and the remaining 10 MPs will be specially appointed from dignitaries.
However, the Maoist hardliner faction has expressed its discontent on the agreement. “The Interim Constitution has presented the concept of fully proportional representation in every organ of the state,” Maoist leader Dev Gurung said and claimed that “present understanding has undermined the Interim Constitution.”
Parties have also claimed of nearing consensus on form of governance. Congress, which was in favor of improved parliamentarian system, has agreed to adopt mixed form of governance that will be responsible to the legislative. However, Congress has maintained that the PM should be given the executive power, including the formation and dissolution of government.
“Suggestions have been given to adopt mixed form of governance by maintaining legislative supremacy,” Navindra Raj Joshi, Congress’s Parliamentary Party spokesperson informed to correspondents after attending the PP meet.
Though parties have reached uniformity on giving executive powers to both President and Prime Minister, they are to finalize authorities to be given to both executives.
“We have reached uniformity in providing executive powers to both President and Prime Minister. Discussions are centered on dividing power between them. We are near consensus,” said UML Chief Jhalnath Khanal while adding that “discussion on alternatives is on.”
NC leader Ram Chandra Paudel while seconding Khanal’s information said “Now no one has reservation in adopting a Prime Minister with executive Prime Minister as the form of governance.”
Elaborating on the latest development in resolving the contentions seen in the issue of state restructuring, Khanal said they were have neared consensus on adopting 7 to 8 provinces. “Uniformity on forming 7 to 8 provinces on the basis of identity and capacity has been reached. This issue will be resolved in tomorrow’s (Wednesday) meeting,” said Khanal.
Before the three party meeting, senior leaders had discussed the issues informally among themselves at the Special Committee Secretariat in New Baneshwor. The meeting had centered on resolving contentions surrounding forms of governance, electoral system, state restructuring, among others.
MJF-D Chief Bijay Kumar Gachhadar had informed that the meeting had reached consensus on executive Prime Minister.
Parties have already reached consensus on contentions surrounding judiciary and citizenship.
After the bigwig meeting, senior leaders had briefed their party members and lawmakers about the latest progress made in resolving the contentions. The four party meeting following the briefing had reached understanding on electoral system.