Nepal PM Koirala invites opposition for talks on Constitution

Prime Minister Sushil Koirala on Sunday invited agitating opposition parties for a "meaningful dialogue" to resolve the political stalemate over Constitution drafting process, but UCPN-Maoist dismissed it as "vague".

PTI| Last Updated: Feb 09, 2015, 00:08 AM IST

Kathmandu: Prime Minister Sushil Koirala on Sunday invited agitating opposition parties for a "meaningful dialogue" to resolve the political stalemate over Constitution drafting process, but UCPN-Maoist dismissed it as "vague".

"I call upon the political parties represented in the Constituent Assembly (CA) and those outside the CA to immediately come for a meaningful dialogue to forge agreement on drafting the Constitution," Koirala said.

Koirala's statement came at a time when the opposition parties' alliance led by UCPN-Maoist has boycotted the Constitution drafting process and announced protests demanding consensus on key issues of the Constitution before moving forward.

Reacting to Koirala's statement, UCPN-Maoist secretary Barshaman Pun said the Prime Minister's invitation was vague.

"The statement of the Prime Minister does not clearly show the possibility of talks, it is vague and incomplete, though positive to some extent.

"We will call a meeting of the 30 party alliance and make our official views on it public," Pun said.

He said the opposition parties would abandon street protests and join the dialogue process if ruling parties halt the process they have unilaterally started in the CA towards drafting the statute.

In another development, the proposal Drafting Committee of the CA has prepared 170 questions relating to contentious issues of the new Constitution.

The ruling and opposition parties are sharply divided on key issues in the Constitution drafting including federal structure and forms of governance.

Opposition parties' also demand ethnic identity-based federal structure in the new Constitution which was initially supposed to be promulgated by January 22.

The committee is set to present all the disputed issues in a form of questions categorically and table at the CA meeting for moving forward the process of drafting the Constitution through two third majority votes.