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Political deadlock in Nepal over constitution drafting body meeting

Kathmandu, Dec 29 : Nepal has entered into a new political deadlock as the government and the president's Office are at odds over calling the first meeting of the Constituent Assembly (CA), Xinhua reported Saturday citing official sources.


As per the constitutional provision, the prime minister would call the first meeting of CA but the president's office is saying that constitutional provisions should be amended to empower them to call the first meeting of CA.

Currently, there is not the post of prime minister in the country but interim Election Chairman Khil Raj Regmi who assumed power in March for holding the election is undertaking all the jobs of the prime minister.

Regmi is saying that the government's right to call the first meeting should not be infringed. In 2008, then prime minister Girija Prasad Koirala called the first meeting of CA who was also undertaking the tasks of the head of the state.

Government officials said Koirala at that time called the first meeting of CA in the capacity of the prime minister, while officials from the president's office say Koirala called the meeting as the head of the state.

Both the government and president's office are holding legal consultations on the same issue but there has not been any agreement. The president's office also reasons that there is international tradition for a president to call the first meeting of CA.

A petition was filed in the Supreme Court Friday to ensure that the president call the first meeting of CA. Advocate Biswas Acharya moved the Supreme Court calling for an immediate invention by the apex court.

Acharya said that the head of the state should call the meeting of CA as it is an international practice. He also argued that allowing the head of the government to call the first meeting would set a wrong precedent.

--IANS (Posted on 29-12-2013)

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