Nepal Parliament votes for republic, but the proposal lacks validity say experts

November 14th, 2007 - 8:31 am ICT by admin  
The Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) withdrew its proposal from the special session of the parliament on declaring the country as a republic immediately and voted in favour of the amendment proposal on republic filed by the Communist Party of Nepal-Unified Marxist-Leninist (CPN- UML) in the parliamentary voting on Sunday, as political deliberations failed to reach a consensus on the Maoists’ proposal.

The House passed the CPN-UML’s amendment motion on republic and the Maoists’ motion for adopting proportional representation based voting system, by a simple majority through voice voting.

However, legal experts say that the proposals passed in the Nepal parliament do not have constitutional meaning.

“They may have certain political meaning. But I fail to see their constitutional significance. For those proposals to have any legal weight, there has to be the constitutional amendment,” Nepalnews quoted Lalit Bahadur Basnet, a constitutional lawyer, as saying.

And for any constitutional amendment to be approved, it needs two-third majority, which is not possible without the support of the Nepali Congress.

The CPN-UML amendment motion seeks immediate republic declaration from the House and take steps for the implementation of republican system at the earliest.

The two motions were put to vote following an intense debate in the House.

While the Maoists and the CPN-UML voted in favour of each other’s proposal, the Nepali Congress (NC) voted against both the proposals.

Other smaller parties gave mixed response.

The Maoists and the UML together make up majority in the parliament, but an amendment in the interim constitution to incorporate the two issues, will require two-third majority.

Maoist spokesperson Krishna Bahadur Mahara has said that since the proposals have been passed by House majority, the government will be obliged to implement them.

The special session of the interim Parliament that had been called on October 5 by the Maoists, came to an end on Sunday.

For nearly a month, parties were engaged in formal and informal discussions to forge a consensus on Maoists’ twin proposal for declaring Nepal a republic and also for proportional representation based voting system. But, with the Maoists and the Nepali Congress sticking to their respective stands, no consensus was reached and the House went ahead with voting. (ANI)

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