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Alliance for Social Dialogue

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 As there was no progress on the peace and constitution-drafting process, Congress, UML and other 16 political parties not in the governing coalition and UCPN (M) appeared in opposing corners. The opposition parties concluded that ‘the Maoists had backed down from the peace and constitution-drafting process’ and ‘peace process is obstructed because the government and UCPN (M) is not sincere towards implementing past agreements’. It was their decision that they would urge UCPN (M) to fully implement the past agreements. The 16 parties expressed their suspicion because of obstruction in the combatant integration and rehabilitation, and attempts to reverse the agreements reached in the sub-committee for dispute resolution.

 There was an agreement in principle in the sub-committee for dispute resolution on directly elected president and prime minister elected from the parliament. There was also an agreement to outline the authorities of the president and prime minister in the constitution. Talking to journalists after the meeting of the sub-committee for dispute resolution on December 30, 2011, Prakash Man Singh said that there was agreement in principle in all outstanding issues except and state restructuring and on which further discussions were necessary.

Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai and chairperson of the Constituent Assembly (CA) Subash Nemwang filed separate petitions at the Supreme Court seeking a review of the Court’s judgement on the CA term that it will automatically come to end if the constitution is not promulgated within the stipulated time. In the petitions, they had sought the review arguing that the Court’s decision is without legal precedents and against legal principles. However, the Court rejected the petition saying that the petition had no legal basis and context.

After the regrouping of the Maoist combatants, the Army Integration Special Committee (AISC) submitted a timetable for integration into the Nepal Army, voluntary retirement, and rehabilitation of the combatants; however, the peace process could not move forward after disagreement among UCPN (M), Congress, and UML.

The meeting of the sub-committee for dispute resolution under the Constitutional Committee on December 15, 2011 reached a ‘consensus on land ceiling, but any land acquisitioned beyond this the land ceiling will be compensated’. The parties also agreed to not put a ceiling private property but to tax them. UCPN (M) was in favour of acquisitioning the land beyond the land ceiling and distributing them to the squatters, landless, and poor farmers. However, Nepali Congress and UML and other political parties had opposed such a UCPN (M) position as being against democratic processes.

The timetable for constitution-drafting was prepared as per the 6-point agreement between the main three parties, UCPN (M), Nepali Congress, and UML, and UDMF on November 29, 2011, whose clause 4 states, ‘Constitutional Committee will publicise the timetable for drafting the constitution within December 6, 2011. The timetable was prepared by the sub-committee for dispute resolution of the Constitutional Committee, which was endorsed by the Constitutional Committee and forwarded to the Constituent Assembly, which also endorsed it.

Though Rastriya Prajatantra Party-Nepal was the only party against CA term extension, there was disagreement regarding the duration of the extension among other parties in the Constituent Assembly. UML assertion that CA term should be extended only after guarantee of completion of peace and constitution-drafting process was also supported by Nepali Congress. Then, the parties formed a working committee to draft a timetable to complete the peace process by promulgating the constitution.

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