Saturday, March 10, 2007

Interim constitution amended by the parliament
Less than two months after it was promulgated unanimously, the interim constitution has been subjected to first amendment.
The legislative parliament approved the proposal to pass the First Amendment Bill by overwhelming majority. When the Speaker put forth the proposal – prepared after extensive consultations among eight parties and incorporating the February 7 address by the Prime Minister to placate the agitated Madhesis and Janajatis – for approval, it received 278 votes in favour and only 5 in opposition.
The parliament also rejected separate amendment proposals put forth by Rastriya Prajatantra Party's president Pashupati SJB Rana; People's Front's Pari Thapa; another faction of People's Front's Hari Acharya; and Nepal Workers and Peasants Party's Sunil Prajapati.
Answering to the queries raised by the MPs on the amendment proposal, Home Minister Krishna Sitaula assured that the government will soon present another comprehensive amendment proposal by incorporating their suggestions; as well as demands raised by agitating parties with whom the government is holding talks.
The First Amendment of the interim constitution clearly sets that the country will move towards the federal democratic structure through the Constituent Assembly; CA polls will be held on mixed-proportional system; constituencies will be reconstituted based on increased population in Terai; and all marginalised communities like Madhesis, Janajatis, Dalits and women will be included at all levels of the state proportionally.

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