Kathmandu, 17 July, 2017 : The agitating Rastriya Janata Party Nepal has hinted that it can agree to take part in local level elections in Province 2 scheduled for September 18 by putting the constitution amendment bill on hold for now.
After ruling parties decided not to put the bill to vote at the present circumstances after the CPN-UML denied extending support to the bill and the Rastriya Prajatantra Party also could not assure full support, the agitating party has also said that just putting the bill to vote will not do any good if it is certain to fail.
During a meeting held with ruling Nepali Congress and CPN-Maoist Centre on Tuesday evening, RJPN leader Mahantha Thakur said he had the knowledge that the bill would not get endorsed if put to vote for the decision now.
Thakur, however, demanded that the government meet other demands except the amendment in order to convince the party to take part in the polls. The ruling party leaders responded positively to Thakur’s other demands.“The RJPN leaders have not said that they would not participate in the polls until the constitution amendment. We also want to create an environment for their participation,” a leader from a ruling party says, “We have already begun preparations for that.” Amendment proposal to be put on hold
. Meanwhile, the constitution amendment proposal will now be acted upon only after the third round of local-level election as two-third majority was not likely. This was the result after a meeting of top leaders of three major political parties failed to forge a consensus in this regard.
During a meeting called by Prime Minister Sher Bhadur Deuba at his official residence at Baluwatar, top leaders of major political parties failed to forge consensus over the issue of constitution amendment.
The ruling parties would reach to a conclusion after holding further discussion with the Rastriya Janata Party-Nepal over the issue after the main opposition party, CPN (UML) asked the government to forward the constitution amendment bill only after election of all the levels.
The meeting focused on various options –taking the constitution amendment bill for voting, putting it on hold or passing it by seeking more support. On the occasion, Nepali Congress leader Bimalendra Nidhi said although the government was ready to forward the process in order to garner two-thirds majority in favor of constitution amendment, consultation will now be held with the RJP-Nepal after the CPN (UML) and Rastriya Prajatantra Party denied supporting it. “The government is committed to holding election of all levels on the scheduled date. It also wants to amend the constitution before the elections. However, it is difficult to forward the amendment process at a time when there is no two-thirds majority for the same. But we will go for election after creating environment of political consensus.”
The meeting was organised on account of the preparations by the ruling party to amend the constitution in a bid to take the disgruntled RJPN onboard the third round of local level elections slated in Province 2 for September 18. The UML has been protesting some issues of the amendment proposal including the redrawing of provincial boundaries, arguing that the amendment would not be in nation’s interest.
Stating that the UML would agree to the constitution amendment by necessity only after the third rounds of polls, UML Vice Chairman Bhim Bahadur Rawal said the amendment, if pushed forward unilaterally, would not be acceptable to the UML. He also drew the attention of the government to form the Constituency Determination Commission at the earliest.
Likewise, CPN (Maoist Center) leader Narayan Kaji Shrestha said the issue of the constitution amendment would be concluded after holding additional consultations with the RJPN especially in the context that the UML has asked to not move ahead with the amendment proposal for the time being.