Nepal Today

Tuesday, July 9, 2013



Kathmandu, 10 July: Sujata Koiralaa, a NC central; committee member,  
told Nepal Television Tuesday  evening ‘it was irresponsible’ to talk of
19 November elections without involving CPN Maoist.
SUjata sad this as leaders senior to her party pish elections even without CPN Maoist which has announced a boycott.
She said this immediately after holding talks with visiting Indian Foreign
Minister Salman Khurshid.
Sujata said elections without involving parties was meaningless.
Koirala never uttered work ‘loktantra’ in the 30- minute interview and
talked only of prajatantra.
She criticized President Sushil Koirala for not convening regular meetings of the central committee so long after general convention elections..
Kathmandu, 10 July; The Department of Food Technology and Quality
Control (DFTQC) Tuesday sealed the Himalayan Dairy in Lalitpur after
coliform was found by monitoring team in milk marketed by the company.
coliform count in the dairy’s  produce was  above 2,400 per ml.
Authorities face procedural problems in taking action against more than a
dozen dairies in The Valley in a month-long campaign even as they
are marketing contaminated milk and milk products amid protests from farmers saying they face losses unable to selling milk by the action.

Kathmandu, 10 July: As the major political parties prepare for holding a round-table conference as demanded by the CPN-Maoist, they still do not have the faintest idea about its nature, functioning, and legitimacy, Kamal Dev Bhattarai writes in The Kathmandu Post..
To placate the election-opposing Mohan Baidya-led party, the High-level Political Committee (HLPC) on Saturday decided to hold a round-table conference. Cross-party leaders say preparations for the conference are are getting underway amid lack of clarity in the idea of holding such a conference.
According to the CPN-M, a round-table conference is a meeting of all political stakeholders held to prepare a common document. The party argues that as the Interim Constitution is ‘dysfunctional’, the country cannot move ahead without a common legitimate political document through a round-table conference. Baidya and co themselves lack a blueprint for the conference. “A detailed modality of this conference will be prepared after discussions with the political parties and the government,” said CPN-M Secretary Dev Gurung.
The first challenge concerning the conference is fixing criteria for participation. So far 139 parties applied to the Election Commission for registration and there are 33 parties in the CPN-Maoist-led alliance that are not registered before the EC.
The Baidya party, without elaborating further, has said all non-political actors should also participate in the conference. Leaders are confused about the number of parties participating in the gathering. Some argue that 33 parties represented in the dissolved CA are eligible to participate in the conference.
Political observers say including all parties in the conference is not possible as it complicates the decision making process. Legitimacy is another issue, as there are no mention of it in the Interim Constitution.
The UCPN (Maoist), the Nepali Congress and the CPN-UML have termed this conference an all-party meeting represented in the dissolved CA. “The NC has understood that such conference will be an all-party meeting to discuss the demands of poll-opposing parties in order to create an environment for the polls,” said NC leader Gagan Thapa. NC and UML leaders say they have agreed to sit for the round-table conference to hold talks with the poll-opposing parties .
“The round-table conference can end the present crisis and it can be legitimate if the parties represented in the dissolved CA attend,” said UML leader Ghana Shyam Bhusal said.
“The issue of round-table conference is just a publicity stunt and the major parties have agreed on this issue only to appease the CPN-Maoist. The round-table conference cannot unlock the current political deadlock,” said political analyst Mumaram Khanal.
Kathmandu, 10 July: Even as the Constituency Delimitation Commission (CDC) gets down to re-work on the constituencies for the upcoming Constituent Assembly election slated for November 19, the body is unlikely to make major changes to the existing
Constituencies, Pranab Kharel writes in The Kathmandu Post..
While there is a demand from the Madhes-centric parties to increase constituencies in line with the population growth, constitutional provisions hinder any change—either increasing or reducing constituencies. While a provision in the constitution calls for increasing contituencies in Madhes according to percentage of population increased, another provision does not allow any reduction in the 205 constituencies. The realignment can take place only in the 35 constituencies that were added to the 25 districts following the Madhes uprising in 2007.
But there is not much scope for change, according to a CDC member. “Last time 28 constituencies were added in Madhes and seven in the hills. However, all districts except Kavre have seen the growth in population in the census 2011 which leaves little room for the commission to re-work the constituencies,” said the member. If constituencies in Madhes cannot be reduced, same applies to the hill districts where constituencies were added, the member explained, lamenting that the constitutional provision of not exceeding 240 constituencies has hindered their work.
“The 240 constituencies were set keeping in mind the census report of 2001. But as per the 2011 census, it would be difficult to adjust competing demands as we cannot exceed 240 constituencies.”
The CDC is sure to stir up controversy if it attempts to go beyond its terms of reference. Non-Madhesi parties such as the UCPN (Maoist) and the CPN-UML have already urged the commission to prepare a report in line with the constitution. “The commission should stick to its mandate and avoid courting controversy, which could hamper the scheduled election s,” said Maoist leader Hitraj Pandey.
“As per the constitution, the commission can only re-work 35 constituencies. And I believe the commission will work accordingly,” CPN-UML leader Agni Kharel hold told the CDC at a recent interaction. He had further added that since constitution mandates that the existing districts cannot be changed, nothing much can happen despite some imbalances in the population.
Analysts believe that it will require an amendment to the constitution that would allow the commission to increase the number of constituencies. “On one hand, the constitution calls for increasing the constituencies in line with population, while on the other it prohibits increasing them beyond 240,” said columnist Dipendra Jha, adding that if the CDC is to work in line with meeting competing demands then there needs to be a political consensus for amending the constitution.


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