Nepal registers bill to shorten constitution drafting

From Shirish B Pradhan KATHMANDU (PTI): Nepal today registered a bill in the parliament to shorten the procedure for promulgation of a new constitution to enable the constituent assembly meet its May 27 deadline. Law Minister Brajesh Kumar Gupta registered the bill in the parliament secretariat to make amendment to the Article 70 of the Interim Constitution. This comes amidst hectic negotiations among the major political parties in the Constituent Assembly premises to resolve contentious issues regarding the new constitution. Meanwhile, leaders of the major political parties have intensified bilateral and trilateral talks so as to forge a consensus by midnight or early tomorrow. If the parties fail to reach a necessary consensus on issues regarding the forms of governance, federal structure, judiciary and electoral reforms, then a voting would be conducted to settle the key matters. “We will hold dialogue overnight to arrive at a consensus,” Maoist chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal said. Top Madhesi leader and Deputy Prime Minister Bijaya Kumar Gachchhadar was hopeful of a breakthrough during today’s talks. “If breakthrough is not possible Sunday night, we will certainly resolve the matter on Monday,” Gachchhadar said. Originally pledged to draft the constitution within two years, the political parties in consensus have already extended the Constituent Assembly term three times.

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