Nepal’s opposition blocks government attempt to amend constitution

Kathmandu, August 21

Nepal’s opposition parties have blocked a ruling coalition-sponsored bill to amend the constitution to address the demands of the Madheshi parties which have been in agitation since September 2015.

UML leaders expressed happiness following the result as they had termed the amendment bill ‘anti-national’. The UML had decided to dedicate all its resources to prevent the bill from getting two-third majority.

The government had registered the amendment motion in April and its fate had become uncertain after the ruling coalition, including the Madheshi parties, failed to secure a two-third majority to amend the constitution to make changes to the provincial boundaries in western Nepal’s southern districts.

According to the Parliament Secretariat, 553 MPs were present during the vote. A total of 347 voted in favour of the motion while 206 voted against it. Five MPs said they rejected the process and did not vote.

Parliament now has 592 seats; the government had to secure at least 395 votes to get the bill passed. The number of votes the bill received is less than that Deuba received when he was elected Prime Minister. Deuba had received 388 votes.

Meanwhile, 19 MPs from the Kamal Thapa-led RPP have voted against the bill.

The Madheshi parties, especially the RJP has already said it will accept the results of the vote and contest elections even of the motion is shot down.


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