Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Madhesi parties in internal consultations over the supplementary bill

The three Madhesi parties – Madhesi Janadhikar Forum (MJF), Terai Madhes Loktantrik Party (TMLP) and Nepal Sadbhavana Party (NSP) – are holding internal consultations on Wednesday ahead of scheduled CA meeting to decide about the latest supplementary bill on constitution amendment registered by the government at the Constituent Assembly (CA) secretariat.

The three parties are holding separate meetings of their parliamentary party following which they plan to hold joint meeting to finalise their common position vis-à-vis the bill.

Because they needed some time to study the bill, the CA meeting, Tuesday, was deferred till Wednesday.

"We needed time to study the supplementary bill. That is why the CA was suspended on Tuesday," said Rajendra Mahato, president of Nepal Sadbhavana Party (NSP).

Sarbendra Nath Shukla, leader of Terai Madhes Loktantrik Party (TMLP), also said that though the bill was short of their expectation, it would pave the way for the CA process to proceed. Shukla hinted that Madhesi parties would present their own amendment bills and put it before the CA for final decision. "We will accept the decision of CA," he added.

Earlier, the seven parties had prepared a draft of the supplementary bill proposing changes in the Article 138 of the interim constitution.

The agreement states that Nepal will be a federal democratic republic by upholding the aspirations of autonomous provinces of Madhesis, indigenous people and people from backward and other regions.

The agreement adds that the detailed definition regarding such provinces would be determined by the CA.

Regarding the demand of group entry of Madhesis in the army, the agreement says that the army will be made inclusive on the basis of principle of equality and inclusion.

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