Maoists, NC still disagree on governance

Kathmandu: The largest party in the Constituent Assembly - Unified CPN-Maoist - and the main opposition Nepali Congress party are at loggerheads regarding the system of governance to be adopted in the new constitution.

The meeting of the Dispute Resolution Sub-committee under the Constitution Drafting Committee held yesterday concluded without any decision as both the Maoists and the Nepali Congress were firm about their respective stances regarding the system of governance, sources close to the Nepali Congress said.

The largest democratic party Nepali Congress was in favour of a Westminster type of system, where all executive powers are vested upon the Prime Minister, who is elected from the Parliament.

In sharp contrast, the Maoists are proposing a directly elected President with sweeping powers.

"We are totally against the provision for directly electing the president with sweeping powers," said Nepali Congress central member Bimalendra Nidhi, who is also the member of the Dispute Resolution Sub-committee.

The party is ready to agree on sharing powers between the president, who is elected through the electoral college and the Prime Minister, who is vested with executive powers, he said.

We are ready to discuss on providing some of the executive powers to the president, who will be elected through an electoral college, Nidhi said.

However the Maoists are opposed to the Westminster type of system.

"We cannot accept a system where the president is elected directly by the people," Nidhi said.

However, most of the other issues relating to the constitution drafting have been settled among the major political parties through negotiations.

Meanwhile, the top leaders of three major political parties are scheduled to meet today in an attempt to find agreement in disputed issues for new constitution including the forms of governance.

The top leaders of UCPN (Maoist), Nepali Congress and CPN-UML will discuss the disputed issues for finding a political consensus on fundamental issues such as system of governance and electoral system, Nepali Congress sources said.

Nepal's Constituent Assembly has adopted a new calendar to complete works relating to drafting the new constitution by May end after extending the Constituent Assembly term for fourth time.