Nepali major parties accord over Madhesi issues

By Xinhua,

Kathmandu : Major political parties in Nepali Constituent Assembly (CA) and agitating Madhes-based parties on Sunday reached an agreement to introduce a new supplementary amendment bill to the Interim Constitution.

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The top leaders from the three largest parties in the newly-elected CA, the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) (CPN-M), Nepali Congress (NC) and the Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist-Leninist) (CPN-UML) and from the three major Madhes-based parties, Madhesi People’s Rights Forum (MPRF), Terai Madhes Democratic Party (TMDP) and Nepal Sadbhawana Party, held a meeting at the Ministry of Peace and Reconstruction in capital Kathmandu on Sunday.

The major parties agreed to bring another supplementary amendment bill to meet the Madhes-based parties’ requirement, while the Madhesi parties agreed to allow the Constituent Assembly to proceed with the amendment process, according to reports from local leading news website eKantipur.

The six parties also reached an understanding to guarantee the recruitment of Madhesi people in the Nepal Army in the constitution.

The Madhesi parties have been obstructing the house proceedings since June 26, claiming that the fifth amendment and its supplementary bill failed to address their demand.

The Madhes-based parties have been protesting for the government to incorporate their demands for “autonomour Madhes province” and “mass recruitment of Madhesi people in the security bodies”.

“I can tell you that the CA will function smoothly from tomorrow,” CPN-M chairman Prachanda told reporters after the meeting on Sunday. According to him, a meeting of the ruling Seven-Party Alliance on Monday morning will finalize the draft of the bill, which will be forwarded to the Council of Ministers for approval. The CA meeting is scheduled to take place Monday.

“We are mainly discussing the term ‘the will of Madhesis for autonomous state’,” another local news website quoted Prachanda, informing that the top three parties have agreed to amend related articles to incorporate a provision to make the Nepal Army an inclusive organization.

MPRF coordinator Upendra Yadav said that the three parties had agreed to introduce the amendment bill as per the agreement between the government and the Madhesi parties signed early this year. “We have put our points before the three parties. If the bill fails to ensure what was agreed then, we will continue our protest,” he said.

The Madhesh-based parties with more than 80 legislators in the CA are relatively active in southern Nepal’s Terai plains area.