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NEPAL: News Briefs

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Parties agree to send all CPDCC issues to Constituent Assembly: On November 22, in a high-level meeting of the three major parties held at the prime minister's residence in Baluwatar, Kathmandu, the Unified Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist (UCPN-M) has agreed to forward the joint proposal of the ruling parties on the contentious issues of the statute drafting process to the Constituent Assembly (CA) on the condition that the disputes are not put to vote in the CA, interlocutors have said. eKantipur, November 23, 2014.

Remove Bhattarai as CPDCC chair, if you can, says Pushpa Kamal Dahal: On November 14, Unified Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist (UCPN-M) chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal aka Prachanda challenged the ruling Nepali Congress (NC) and Communist Party of Nepal-Unified Marxist Leninist (CPN-UML) coalition to replace UCPN-M leader Baburam Bhattarai as the chairman of the Legislature-Parliament's Constitutional-Political Dialogue and Consensus Committee (CPDCC) if they wanted to issue the constitution using their majority at the Constituent Assembly (CA). Nepal News, November 15, 2014.

New statute by January 22 at any cost, says ruling parties to diplomatic community: Ruling parties have assured the diplomatic community that they would bring a new statute by the January 22 deadline even if it requires them to put contentious issues in constitution writing to vote in the Constituent Assembly (CA). Speaking at a function organized to brief Kathmandu-based diplomats on ongoing political developments and efforts being made so far to promulgate new statute, Nepali Congress (NC) President Sushil Koirala and Communist Party of Nepal-Unified Marxist Leninist (CPN-UML) Chairman KP Sharma Oli said ruling parties will continue make efforts for consensus till the end. My Republica, November 13, 2014.

Maoist-led alliance ready to send NC-UML proposal to CA: The Unified Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist (UCPN-M)-led alliance is reportedly ready to forward the joint proposal of the Nepali Congress (NC) and Communist Party of Nepal-Unified Marxist Leninist (CPN-UML) to a full sitting of the Constituent Assembly (CA) for further deliberations. A meeting of 27 political parties (the signatory parties of the NC-CPN-UML proposal not included), convened by the UCPN-M at Singha Durbar, Kathmandu on November 7, concluded that the proposal could be included in the annex of the report to be submitted by the Constitutional Political Dialogue and Consensus Committee (CPDCC) to the full CA. My Republica, November 8, 2014.

Major parties reiterate consensus constitution by January 22, 2015: During a meeting on November 6, top leaders of the three major political parties - the Nepali Congress (NC), Communist Party of Nepal-Unified Marxist Leninist (CPN-UML) and Unified Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist (UCPN-M), reiterated their commitment to bring the new constitution within the deadline of January 22, 2015, through an amendment in the already set calendar of events. My Republica, November 7, 2014.

PM consults with 'small' parties for consensus: On October 31, Prime Minister (PM) Sushil Koirala started consultation with leaders of smaller parties represented in the Constituent Assembly (CA), in an attempt to gather consensus on the disputed issues of the new constitution, in a meeting held at the PM's official residence in Baluwatar, Kathmandu. In the meeting PM held discussions with Rastriya Prajatantra Party-Nepal (RPP-Nepal) President Kamal Thapa, senior leader of Rashtriya Prajatantra Party (RPP) Surya Bahadur Thapa and Forum-Loktantrik President Bijay Kumar Gachchhadar, among others and expressed his concern about the possibility of issuing the new constitution by January 22, 2015 - given that the Constitutional Political Dialogue and Consensus Committee (CPDCC) could not forge consensus among the parties on issues of dispute. Nepal News, November 1, 2014.

Constitution through majority if not via consensus, says Deputy Prime Minister Bamdev Gautam: Speaking at Deusi-Bhailo programme organised by Reporters Club at ministers' quarters in Pulchowk in Kathmandu on October 24, Deputy Prime Minister (DPM) and Minister for Home Affairs Bamdev Gautam has clarified that the constitution will be drafted with a two-third majority on the basis of constitutional provision of voting if the political parties fails to forge consensus on time. "Nepali Congress, CPN-UML, RPP-Nepal and CPN-ML including other fringe parties would create a two-third majority," DPM Gautam said. eKantipur, October 25, 2014.

Constituent Assembly fails to abide by its calendar: The Constituent Assembly (CA) was supposed to prepare the first draft of the constitution by October 17, and forward it to the people for suggestions on October 18, as per the CA's calendar of operation, however, the CA failed to keep up with its own timetable and is now preparing to amend its calendar without changing the January 22 deadline for promulgating the constitution. Also, the Constitutional-Political Dialogue and Consensus Committee (CPDCC), as per its mandate given by the full House of the CA, has neither prepared the questionnaire on unsettled issues for putting them to vote at the CA full House, nor has it been able to forge consensus. Himalayan Times, October 18, 2014.

"Will deliver Constitution on time," says Prime Minister Sushil Koirala: On October 7, leaders of the ruling parties pledged to deliver the new Constitution by the agreed deadline by employing all means, including entering the process of majority voting. "We will deliver the Constitution in time," Prime Minister Sushil Koirala said, during the annual tea-party organised by the Nepali Congress (NC). "In a democracy there is always scope to reach agreement to settle issues of dispute, unlike in a dictatorial regime," he said, responding to questions about failure to reach consensus. The Hindu, October 8, 2014.

[Source: SATP]

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