Prez, CA chair press parties for consensus

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KATHMANDU, APR 10 – President Ram Baran Yadav and Constituent Assembly (CA) Chairman Subas Nembang are pressing both the ruling and opposition parties to forge consensus on key issues of new constitution before Monday’s CA meeting. The meeting is likely to start a voting process on disputed issues if the parties fail to reach consensus.

Yadav on Thursday met CPN-UML Chair KP Oli and Vice-president Bidhya Bhandari to consult on the statute drafting process. The head of state asked Oli to give priority to consensus over voting process to resolve the contentious issues of new constitution. The President also plans to meet the top leaders of other parties on Friday and Saturday.

Oli assured that the ruling parties would give utmost priority to resolving disputes through consensus and would go to the voting process only as a last resort.

“Constitution drafting process should be completed soon through unity among parties,” Bhandari quoted the President as saying.

“We informed the head of state that talks among the parties and the CA process will move ahead simultaneously,” Bhandari said after the meeting.

The UML maintains that there will be room for consensus even after a first draft of constitution is prepared through the voting process.

Yadav has taken a firm stance that the new statute should be drafted on the basis of broader consensus, mainly with the UCPN (Maoist) and Madhes-based parties. The President has also asked the CA chairman not to initiate a voting process immediately.

Nembang, who is in regular consultations with second-rung leaders, is planning a meeting of top leaders of the major parties to forge consensus on key issues of new constitution. Nembang has also hinted that he could allow more time for consensus if the parties sit for “genuine talks”