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Amendment to statue unlikely

By Our Reporter
Lawmakers of various political parties, including the agitating Madhesi parties and the ruling Nepali Congress and CPN Maoist Centre, have registered 15 amendment proposal to the Constitution Amendment Bill brought in by the government in November last year.
The Madhesi parties registered a proposal seeking amendment to five articles of the constitution promulgated in September 2015.
The Madhesi parties, which resorted to blockade of the Nepal-India border for four months against the Constitution promulgation, have sought amendment to Article 6 and Article 7 for the constitutional recognition of all mother tongues recommended by Language Commission, and Article 287 on provisions of Language Commission.
They sought rectification of Article 86(2a) for proportional representation in electoral college for National Assembly based on reservation and population of respective provinces. Likewise, they have sought amendment to the Article 56 for the revision of provincial boundaries.
They have also demanded that  Jhapa, Morang and Sunsari districts should be added to Province No. 2 along with Saptari, Siraha, Dhanusha, Mahottari, Sarlahi, Rautahat, Bara, Parsa and some VDCs of Chitwan.
The present coalition government of Nepali Congress and the Maoist Centre had registered the seven-point Constitution Amendment Bill at Parliament’s Secretariat in November 2016 — proposing to amend provisions related to issues including redrawing provincial boundaries, recognition of languages, citizenship and representation in National Assembly — in order to address demands put forth by the Madhesi parties.
Other lawmakers who registered amendment proposals are Prem Suwal of Nepal Workers and Peasants Party; Bharat Bahadur Khadka of Nepali Congress; CPN Maoist Centre’s Mohammad Jakir Hussain; Ganga Chaudhary Satgauwa and Gopal Dahit of Tharuhat Tarai Party Nepal; Chandra Kanta Bhandari of Nepali Congress; Top Bahadur Rayamajhi, Kamala Dong, Rupa Maharjan and Narayan Bidari of of CPN Maoist Centre; Hari Charan Sah of Nepali Janata Dal; Rukmini Chaudhary of Sanghiya Loktantrik Rastriya Manch and independent lawmaker Chandreshwar Jha.
A proposal put forth by Nepali Congress lawmakers has sought amendment to provisions related to recognition of official languages and electoral college for the National Assembly, and revision of boundaries of Province No. 4 and 5.
The Constitution Amendment Bill has proposed revision of boundaries of two provinces —  keeping the region east of Bardaghat in Nawalparasi district and the eastern part of Rukum  district in Province No. 4, and the region west of Bardaghat in Nawalparasi, Rupandehi, Kapilvastu, Dang, Banke and Bardia districts in Province No. 5.
The amendment proposals registered by a few Maoist and NC lawmakers  clearly suggest that even lawmakers of ruling parties are against the constitution amendment bill. The main opposition CPN-UML has been against it and stressing on elections. Similarly, the leaders of the ruling RPP have been expressing their views against the bill.
If the lawmakers of nine opposition parties vote against the bill, the amendment bill will not be endorsed.  Unless the bill gets 396 votes in total, it will not be endorsed.  Among the 596 lawmakers in the parliament, UML alone had 175 seats while other opposition parties had at least 18 seats in total, while RPP had 34 seats. Moreover, three NC lawmakers and one from the Maoist Centre are likely to vote against the bill. As such, the bill is almost sure to fail during voting. Considering this fact, Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal has reportedly told the leaders of the Madhesi parties to hold the voting unless the ruling parties become sure of obtaining two thirds majority.

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