Nepal Today

Monday, July 26, 2010

Madesh demands have to discussed in NC central committee
Kathmandu, 26 July: Sixteen demands of a front of four Madesh parties, including right to self-determination and Madesh autonomy, have to be addressed and approved by the Nepali Congress central committee, spokesman Arjun Narsingh said Monday,
He said some demands of the terai parties involves nationality issues that had to be further discussed.
He said this following a meeting of the party’s office bearers and some central members after a meeting with the front this week to seek support for Ram Chandra Paudel, the party’s candidate for prime minister.
NC also decided to hold formal talks with UML demanding support for Paudel.
The party can’t form a majority government without the support of the UML and the Madesh parties.
Maoists are in a position to form a majority government with support of terai parties.
The third round elections for prime minister is scheduled for 2 August.
The terai parties in a commanding position are demanding written support for their demands and have decided they will vote for the party which supports regional demands.
Human rights activist ridiculed the argument a coalition of three major parties can be a ‘national government’.
‘How can a government of three parties be a national government when there are 25 parties in parliament?” he asked. “This is an interpretation of national unity to suit the interest of the parties.”
Former Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala ruled the country after toppling royal rule with the help of eight parties—the coalition collapsed after the April 2008 constituent assembly election in which Maoists emerged victorious.
Maoists are attempting to replace that alliance with the three-party rule now to gain control of government in the guise of completing the peace process and drafting a constitution.
Prachanda has admitted his party agreed to majority rule amending the interim constitution to replace consensus government after Girija Prasad Koirala agreed to declare a republic before an election.

Security personnel of former king clash

Kathmandu, 26 July: Several journalists were injured when they clashed Monday with security personnel of former King Gyanendra and his supporters at a temple in Bhaktapur.
The then king drove to Bhaktapur to offer worship and puja at a Majhadeb temple at the end of a maha yagya.
Some journalists shouted slogans against the former king, eyewitnesses said.
Nepse index falls 5.4 points; Shankarman Singh resigns
Kathmandu, 26 July: Nepse index fell 5.4 points Sunday on the first day of weekly trading.
The index closed at 463.94 points.
Insurance and hydropower groups suffered the biggest losses.
Meanwhile, Nepse General Manager Shankerman Singh resigned Sunday without assigning any reason after more than two years in office.
No reason was given.
But he had differences with finance ministry with the appointment of new share brokers.
He headed a committee to appoint new brokers.
More land under paddy crop
Kathmandu, 26 July: Paddy plantation was recorded in additional 308,000 hectares of land across the country over the last week, thanks to continued rainfall in this peak plantation season, Republica reports.
Officials at the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives (MoAC) said plantation has been recorded in over 938,308 hectares of the total of 1.55 millioni hectares of paddy fields till Friday.
“We are encouraged to see increase in paddy plantation area by 20 percent points over the week. The plantation area has increased significantly in the terai districts,” said Hem Raj Regmi, under secretary at MoAC.
Total area of plantation increased to 59 percent in eastern region, 64 percent in central region and 55 percent in western region.

Parliamentary rules can’t be amended
KATHMANDU: 26 July: Parliamentary regulations cannot be amended when they are in effect, say constitutional experts, The Himalayan Times reports.

Senior leaders, including CPN-UML chairman Jhala Nath Khanal and Unified CPN-Maoist vice-chairman Dr Baburam Bhattarai,

have called for amending the parliamentary regulations after the parliament failed

to elect prime minister even during the run-off poll held on Friday.

The parliament had failed to pick the PM on July 21, necessitating the run-off poll. Round III poll will be held on August 2.

“According to the regulations, the election process will continue until the House elects one of the contestants – Maoist Chairman Prachanda or NC Vice President Ramchandra Paudel – as PM by a majority vote of the parliament as per Article 38 (b) of the constitution,” Speaker Subas Chandra Nembang told THT.

An informal meeting of chief whips of the major political parties – UCPN-Maoist, Nepali Congress and CPN-UML – had discussed the possibility of amending the regulations after Wednesday’s election failed to elect the PM.

Sources said UML Chief Whip Bhim Acharya had proposed amending the regulations. But the UCPN-Maoist and NC chief whips rejected Acharya’s proposal, saying it was not possible when the candidates are in the race.

There is no provision in the regulations under which one of the contestants or the both can withdraw their candidacies to open doors for dialogue among the parties to elect the PM through a fresh election process.

Going by the regulations, the “vicious circle” of the PM’s election will continue until one of them emerges victorious on a majority basis, a leader said.

The problem could have been easily resolved had the parties, while drafting the constitution, agreed to give specific or limited constitutional powers to the President, who acts as ceremonial Head of the State. But the then Seven-Party Alliance did not want to give any power to the President to appoint the prime minister, fearing that s/he could become authoritative.

Instead, they decided to elect the PM directly by the House.

Had the constitution given the President limited constitutional powers, he could have either appointed one of the Constituent Assembly members as PM on consensus basis or appointed one of them on a majority basis or, in case both the options fail, appointed leader of the largest party as head of the government subject to s/he proving a majority support in the parliament within a certain period from the date of his taking oath. This is the parliamentary practice the world over.

But the President can only administer the oath of office and secrecy to the elected prime minister.


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