Nepal Today

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

SEARCH CONTINUES FOR BOY, GIRL IN SAPTARI CANAL Kathmandu, 13 March: A search continues Wednesday for a boy and girl missing in the Koshi canal at Hanumannagar in Saptari. They have gone missing after jumping into the canal Tuesday. nnnn THIS YEAR’S SLC EXAMINATIONS BEGIN THURSDAY Kathmandu, 13 March: This year’s SLC examinations begin Thursday. The nine-day examinations will be held every day for three hyours from eight in the morning. Altogether 547,165 are appearing for the annual school leaving examinations. Empowered joint secretaries have been deployed in 14 anchals to monitor the tests. Nnnn GOVT. SNUBS EC RECOMMENDATIONS Kathmandu, 13 March:The government has turned down the proposal forwarded by the Election Commission (EC) to allow the constitutional body to mobilize security personnel for electionsm Gani Ansari writes in Republica.. According to knowledgeable sources at EC, most of the provisions recommended by the constitutional body in the election related ordinance, forwarded by the government to the president, have been removed. “For instance, the government has amended the provision which stated that EC would be allowed to mobilize security personnel during elections,” said an EC official preferring anonymity. He also claimed that the provisions were removed as they were not in favor of the government and the political parties. Past governments have faced criticisms for mobilizing security personnel during the elections to turn situations in their favor. Following amendment in the provision recommended by EC, the government, as in the past, will exercise full authority in mobilizing security personnel during the elections. Similarly, the government has amended the provision, which stated that the constitutional body would be authorized to take action against securities personnel, among other officials, for any activity deemed to be against the code of conduct for elections. “The provision would have allowed us to take action against any breach of the code of conduct for elections as the past governments have been reluctant to implement the EC´s recommendations,” said another EC official on the condition of anonymity. The government has also turned down the EC´s proposal to allow a leader to file candidacy from one constituency only. “The government has allowed a candidate to file for candidacy from two constituencies,” the EC official told Republica. Asked why the government made amendments to the provisions proposed by EC, the EC official said, “It has been done to minimize risks as a candidate may win from another constituency if he/she gets defeated in one constituency.” According to sources, the government has also removed the eligibility criteria proposed by the constitutional body for candidates vying for proportional seats. Likewise, the government has removed the provision that proposed disclosure by candidates of their property details and income sources. Despite EC´s directives, a majority of lawmakers in the erstwhile Constituent Assembly (CA) did not disclose their sources of income. Nnnn Nnnn FRINGE PARTIES OPPOSE CJ-LED GOVT, Kathmandu, 13 March: While rejecting outright the proposal of the four major political forces to form a new government under the sitting chief justice, 18 various minor parties represented in the erstwhile Constituent Assembly (CA) have demanded the finding of an alternative prime ministerial candidate from within the political parties for holding fresh polls, Republica reports.. At a meeting organized jointly by the UCPN (Maoist), Nepali Congress, CPN-UML and the United Democratic Madhesi Front (UDMF) to inform all parties about the agreement reached on a new election government, the fringe parties also registered their strong objection over the move of the major parties to use them only as ´witnesses´, while denying them any meaningful participation in the decision-making process. Talking to media persons after the meeting, Co-chairman of Rastriya Janashakti Party (RJP) Prakash Chandra Lohani said all small parties invited to the meeting flayed the ´unilateral´ decision of the major parties to form a CJ-led government for holding polls. "The parties told the leaders of the major parties that the syndicate of four parties alone won´t help resolve the problems seen in the country," he said. Likewise, Secretary of the newly-formed CPN-Maoist Dev Gurung said the leaders of all 19 small parties except Rastriya Prajatantra Party-Nepal Chairman Kamal Thapa flayed the decision of the major parties to form a CJ-led election government. "The parties strongly criticized the idea of a CJ-led government. The four parties do not have any capacity to take such a decision. This is against the spirit of the interim constitution. It will give rise to totalitarianism in the country," he said. Gurung, who is also a former law minister, argued that it was wrong to bring amendments to the interim constitution through such a ´unilateral´ political decision. "We have suggested finding an alternative from among the political parties through an all-party meeting," he further said. However, RPP-N Chairman Kamal Thapa, while criticizing the ´syndicate´ decision of the four parties, said his party had always remained positive toward the idea of a CJ-led government to hold fresh elections. He, however, said that it would not be good to have a CJ-led government for more than three-month. "The meeting seems to have been organized as a formality. The major parties have failed to take other parties into confidence. All the parties stood against the monopoly of the major parties in terms of taking major decisions," he added. Notwithstanding the opposition by fringe parties represented in the erstwhile CA, the big four parties are determined to go ahead with their plan. "We are scheduled to sit again tomorrow [Wednesday] morning to finalize matters that are yet to be settled. We have already prepared a draft agreement. There are some issues yet to be settled," NC Vice-president Ram Chandra Poudel said after the meeting. Poudel said they are holding necessary consultations with other parties. "The honorable president may also take some time to study the draft proposal. We hope to reach a deal by tomorrow [Wednesday]," he further said. A meeting of the four major parties held earlier in the morning had finalized a draft proposal to resolve constitutional difficulties and a separate political proposal as per the understanding reached among political parties on the formation of a CJ-led government. Though all other issues have already been settled, the major parties continue to be at odds over the issue of rank determination for former Maoist combatants choosing integration into the Nepal Army. According to Maoist leaders, though the NC and UML have agreed to provide them two posts of lieutenant colonel, they are yet to give in to their demand for one colonel. The parties are scheduled to hold final negotiations on the issue Wednesday morning. Maoist Vice-chairman Narayan Kaji Shrestha said if there is agreement on the issue of rank for former Maoist combatants, the Special Committee meeting will formalize the deal reached among the political parties. "The deal will then be signed by the top leaders of all four major parties on behalf of their respective parties. The deal reached among parties will then be endorsed by the cabinet and forwarded to the president for resolving the constitutional difficulties," said Shrestha, who is also deputy prime minister and foreign minister. According to leaders involved in the negotiations, the top leaders have reached an understanding to peruse again the draft ordinance of the TRC and make necessary changes in its wording. Likewise, there has been an understanding among parties to update the voter list on the basis of the one prepared for the CA election held in April, 2008. Besides providing citizenship by descent to the children of those receiving citizenship by birth, the parties have also reached an understanding to provide citizenship certificates in accordance with due procedures to those already registered in the voter list but are still without citizenship certificates. Nnnn R


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