Alliance for Social Dialogue

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 UCPN (M), Nepali Congress, UML, and United Democratic Madhesi Front (UDMF) reached an agreement to establish a constitutional court for five years and provide citizenship to children of parents if either father or mother is a Nepali national. There was an agreement to a directly elected president and executive prime minister elected from the parliament, but was no agreement upon their jurisdiction. After UCPN (M), Congress, and UML proposed separate models for separate state restructuring, the distance between the parties grew more.

After reaching consensus on disputed issues of the peace process, political parties become focused on also seeking consensus on constitution-drafting issues. For this purpose, UCPN (M), Nepali Congress, UML, and United Democratic Madhesi Front (UDMF) reached Hattiban Resort at Pharping. For two days, they held group and separate discussions on form of government, election system, judicial system, citizenship issues, and state restructuring. The talks and discussions attended by top leaders could not reach any consensus.

The meeting of the Army Integration Special Committee (AISC) decided on April 10 to bring the Maoist combatants, weapons and containers used to store them, cantonments and properties therein under the Nepal Army. Before handing over the cantonments to the Nepal Army and beginning the regrouping process for integration, AISC decided to retain its earlier decision to offer of voluntary retirement or rehabilitation package to the combatants who choose to do so.

Even after amending the Constituent Assembly (CA) calendar of events three times and five extensions of the deadlines prepared by the Business Advisory Committee, the political parties could not come to a consensus on disputed issues of the constitution.

After no agreement was forthcoming in the repeated meetings of the Constitutional Committee and the dispute resolution sub-committee, the Business Advisory Committee called chairperson and parliamentary leader of UCPN (M) Pushpa Kamal Dahal, Nepali Congress leader Ram Chandra Paudel, UML parliamentary leader Jhala Nath Khanal, and leader of Madhesi Janadhikar Forum (Loktantrik) Bijaya Kumar Gachhedar to a meeting. In the meeting, CA chairperson Subash Nemwang updated the leaders on the status of constitution-drafting, issues requiring immediate attention, and a concept paper on the required timeframe.

The Supreme Court upheld its earlier decision that the Constituent Assembly (CA) will cease to exist after May 27 if the constitution is not promulgated. The government and parliament had filed a petition to review the earlier refusal by joint-registrar of the Supreme Court Nahakul Subedi against the Court ruling on the deadline of the Constituent Assembly. A single bench of Justice Kamal Narayan Das upheld the decision of joint-registrar Subedi.

 After the Vaidya faction of UCPN (M) vice-chairperson Mohan Vaidya announced a protest programme demanding resignation of prime minister Baburam Bhattarai in a press conference, chairperson Pushpa Kamal Dahal held consultation with officials close to him. In the meeting attended by chairperson Dahal, vice-chairperson and prime minister Baburam Bhattarai, vice-chairperson Narayankaji Shrestha, and secretary Posta Bahadur Bogati agreed that ‘the prime minister will not resign simply because Vaidya faction demands and peace and constitution-drafting process will be taken forward’.

The senior leaders of UCPN (M), Nepali Congress, and UML reached an agreement to carry out army integration as per the seven-point agreement and give the reasonability tot the Army Integration Special Committee (AISC). The meeting of AISC took place as Congress and UML maintained their position that unless there is progress on the peace process, constitution-drafting would not move forward. In the meeting, prime minister Bhattarai submitted the proposal for army integration. The AISC members from Congress and UML accused the prime minister’s proposal of being ‘against the seven-point agreement and prevalent acts and laws’. They also raised suspicion that the prime minister’s proposal might adversely affect the peace process.

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