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One final extention

Sunday, April 22nd, 2012
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From early morning, political parties were busy trying to forge consensus on disputed issues of constitution drafting. However, today’s ‘decisive’ meeting ended inconclusively as the leaders refused to cooperate with each other and remained adamant on their respective positions.

The parties have almost reached an agreement regarding naturalised citizenship for foreign nationals married to Nepalis. But more serious issues related to state restructuring, forms of governance and electoral system are still unresolved. While the UCPN (Maoist) and Madhesi Alliance favour a separate constitutional court, the NC and UML have proposed a bench under the Supreme Court which will interpret laws and deal with disputes between federal and local governments.

Although the Constitutional Committee had given the parties till today to resolve these disputed issues, the deadline has been extended to Monday, 23 April and the CC meeting was postponed until 1 pm tomorrow on the request of Maoist Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal. If the parties fail to meet Monday’s deadline, the issues will be put to vote at tomorrow’s full house meeting of the Constituent Assembly.
 
While talking to the press, UML chairman Jhalanath Khanal assured the public that all disputes will be settled during tomorrow’s meeting.

Timeline

March 30: The Special Committee decided to vacate the PLA cantonments and hand over the weapons’ containers to the government by April 12.

April 7: The Special Committee deployed its Secretariat members to the cantonments for final regrouping of  former Maoist combatants.

April 10: Nepal Army took control of all the Maoist camps, arms and the combatants.

April 11: The Special Committee formed a four-member taskforce to decide the structure of the proposed directorate of the Nepal Army, rank determination and other technical issues.

April 14: A joint meeting of top leaders of major political parties and the Special Committee endorsed the proposal prepared by the task force of the Special Committee which help kick start the integration process.

April 15: Top leaders from UCPN (Maoist), NC, UML and Madhesi parties started a close-door meeting at Hattiban Resort to resolve disputes on key issues in the new constitution.

April 17: Business Advisory Committee of the parliament approved recommendation of the Constitutional Committee to provide additional five days for the political parties to resolve the disputes of constitution drafting.

April 19: Final regrouping of former combatants was completed during which 3,129 ex-guerrillas opted for integration into the Nepal Army while 6,576 combatants chose voluntary retirement. As many as 9,705 combatants had opted for integration in the first phase of regrouping last November.

 

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