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Nepal constitution: Not possible to draft without consensus, says Prachanda

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Kathmandu (Dec. 06, 2014): CPN-Maoist leader Prachanda Saturday warned that it would not be possible to draft the new Nepal Constitution without consensus from all the political parties.

"It would not be possible to promulgate the new constitution by the January 22, 2015 deadline, as promised by the political parties, if consensus could not be forged on the key issues of the Constitution within a couple of days," Prachanda said.

"The political parties have not yet agreed on the key issues of the constitution including forms of governance, number of federal units, electoral system and judicial system," said Prachanda whose actual name is Pushpa Kamal Dahal.
 
Prachanda said that the members of the ruling party alliances themselves are divided on the contentious issues of the constitution.

He asked the government to incorporate the agreements reached by the past governments with various ethnic groups and Madhesi parties while promulgating the new constitution.

Prachanda accused the ruling Nepali Congress and CPN-UML for trying to obstruct the constitution drafting process by neglecting the issues raised by the 22 party alliances led by the UCPN-Maoist including the Madhesi parties.

He floated the idea of Presidential system of governance in which the President should be directly elected from the people and the Prime Minister should be elected from the Parliament.

He also proposed to delineate the country into ten federal units on the basis of ethnic identity, which is in sharp contrast with the 6 or 7 federal units proposed by the Nepali Congress and CPN-UML on the basis of identity and economic viability.

The Maoist chief also proposed a mixed type of electoral system in the new constitution, in which parts of the members are directly elected from the people and parts of them are elected on the basis of proportionate representation system.

The new constitution should be written on the basis of 12 point agreement, Comprehensive Peace Accord, the mandate of the Peoples Movement of 2006 and the decade long Peoples War, he said.

In response to a question, Prachanda said that formal discussions were underway with breakaway faction CPN-Maoist led by hardliner leader Mohan Vaidya regarding the unification of the two parties, and claimed that the leaders who had broke the party would soon be back.

Political parties, which pledged during the second Constituent Assembly elections, have set January 22 as deadline to draft the Constitution so as to institutionalise the achievements of the Peoples Movement of 2006.