Thursday, June 14, 2007

Parliament approves second amendment; House authorised to abolish monarchy
Five months after it was promulgated, the Interim Constitution has been subjected to second amendment after the parliament, with overwhelming majority, approved the Second Amendment Bill on Wednesday evening.
When the bill was presented for voting, it received 281 votes in favour and only two votes against the proposal of amendment.
The Second Amendment Bill was tabled in the parliament by Home Minister Krishna Sitaula on behalf of Law Minister Narendra Bikram Nemwang.
Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala, in his statement, said that the second amendment will ensure the Constituent Assembly elections. As he was not present at the parliament during Wednesday's session, Home Minister Sitaula read out his statement.
Likewise, participating in the discussion of the bill, MPs welcomed the second amendment hailing the inclusion of a provision whereby the parliament can abolish monarchy.
MPs Ananda Prasad Dhungana, Minendra Rijal, Gobinda Bikram Shah, Narayan Man Bijukchhe, among others, spoke at the parliament.
Earlier, the Special Committee of the parliament formed on Tuesday and headed by Nepali Congress Democratic leader Purna Bahadur Khadka had approved the bill with some changes in the draft presented by the cabinet.
The draft passed by the committee has provision for removing the monarchy by 2/3 majority of the parliament, if the cabinet tables a proposal for the same. The bill proposed by the cabinet had stated that a fourth of the House could table such a proposal.
There is another crucial provision according to which no-confidence motion against the Prime Minister can be tabled once in six months. The bill presented by the government had fixed that time to one year.
The bill says 2/3 majority of the House can vote the Prime Minister out.
The Special Committee also agreed to incorporate the demand made by the CPN (UML) for parliamentary hearing on appointments of Supreme Court judges, ambassadors and heads of constitutional bodies.
According to the bill, constituent assembly election will be held in Mangsir (mid-November to mid-December).
Home Minister Krishna Prasad Situala had, on behalf of the government, had answered the queries of the committee members regarding the disputed provisions in the amendment bill. Speaker Subash Nemwang had also participated in the daylong debate.
The Interim Constitution, which was promulgated on January 15, had been subjected to first amendment on March 9.

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