Kathmandu, April 24
The meeting among the three major parties and the United Democratic Madhesi Front (UDMF) Tuesday made agreement on one more out of remaining three contentious issues of the new constitution.
The meeting made agreement on electoral system deciding on the number of memberss in both of the Upper and Lower Houses. As per the tentative agreement, the Upper House would be 60-member while the Lower House will have 325 people’s representatives.
The parties also agreed that the ratio of proportionate representation (PR) and first-past-the-post (FPTP) would be 45/55 per cent for the House of Representatives. As such, there would be 180 seats for FPTP while 145 seats would be reserved for PR. The total number of members of central parliament will be 385. As per the agreement, the number of existing 240 constituencies will be reduced to 180.
In the 60-member Upper House, 50 seats would be for representatives from the provinces while 10 members will be nominated by the Cabinet. The 50 seats will be divided equally among the provinces.
Out of five long standing disputed issues, the parties had on Sunday settled dispute over judiciary by agreeing that Constitutional Court would be established. On Monday, they had resolved dispute over citizenship deciding that principle of equality would be adopted for distributing citizenship. As such, citizenship certificate would be issued even in the name of mother.
The parties have slated their meeting for 8 am on Wednesday as they could not hold meeting in the evening as the meeting of the 32 parties represented in the CA went on till nearly 8 pm. After their morning meeting, the major parties had made schedule to meet in the evening following the all party meet.
"The meeting has made a sketchy agreement on electoral system by fixing tentatively that the Upper House would be 60-member, the Lower House would be 325-member," Nepali Congress leader Dr Ram Sharan Mahat informed the reporters after the meeting at the Constituent Assembly building in New Baneshwor.
Dr Mahat, however, argued that the agreement was not final as the parties could adjust their positions following internal discussions about the agreed upon issues. "Therefore, I would say that there has not been any final decision."
CPN-UML chairman Jhala Nath Khanal informed that the parties also dwelt on the form of governance and state restructuring, the remaining two contentious issues which are yet to be resolved.
"On number of federal constituents, we may agree on 7/8 provinces. Discussions are underway over proposals of our party and the report of the taskforce (formed to resolve the issue involving representatives from all the major parties and the UDMF)," chairman Khanal said.
Nepali Congress vice-president Ram Chandra Paudel claimed that the parties had agreed to bestow executive power to the prime minister elected by the parliament.
"There is no debate that the PM will be executive and elected by the parliament. The debate is what amount of executive power should be provided to the president. This means, we have not given up parliamentary system," Paudel said.
"The leaders briefed that naming, number, and boundary with regard to federal units was yet to be agreed," chairman of Rastriya Jana Morcha Chitra Bahadur KC said after the all party meeting.
He said that Maoist chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ had briefed the all party meeting about the progress of the meeting among the major parties and the UDMF.