Nine opposition Parties stage massive demonstration against constitutional amendments
Kathmandu– Nine opposition parties of Nepal on Friday staged a massive protest here to exert pressure on the government to withdraw the proposed constitutional amendments registered in the Parliament by the government on Nov. 29 last year in view of addressing the demands of the agitating Madhes-based ethnic parties.
Thousands of activists and supporters from the opposition parties led by main opposition CPN (UML) assembled at Tudhikhel in the heart of the city as a major strength show against the Pushpa Kamal Dahal-led coalition government’s move to amend the new constitution.The opposition parties’ demonstration Came at a time when the governing parties CPN (Maoist Centre) and Nepali Congress are making concerted efforts to revise the national charter in order to address the demands of the Madhes-based ethnic parties who have been running anti-constitution protests for more than a year.
The opposition parties have been obstructing Parliamentary sessions, demanding to withdraw the proposed constitutional amendments.
Addressing the mass demonstration, leaders of the opposition parties said that they would launch similar protests across the country unless the government withdraws the proposed constitutional amendments registered at the House.
They claimed the proposed constitutional amendments are against the national interests and were tabled by the government to serve the external powers, especially India.
The Madhes-based parties have been expressing serious reservations on the key contents of the new constitution including seven provincial boundaries, citizenship and political representation at the lower and upper House.
This will be the second amendment to the Nepal’s new constitution if approved by the two-thirds majority. According to the government proposal, the demarcation of provinces 4 and 5 will be changed by swapping some districts.
New languages will be given the national language status and included in the Constitution’s schedule in line with the report given by the Language Commission formed by the government.
According to the amendment proposal, any foreign woman married to a Nepalese male can obtain naturalised citizenship after she abandons her citizenship of the country of her birth.
To make the Upper House of the Parliament more inclusive, the proposal has sought representation of one member each from Dalit (untouchable), woman and marginalized community categories and the remaining five to be elected on the basis of population of each province.
The composition of the Upper House is eight members from each of the proposed seven provinces. The opposition parties believed that the proposal to split the Province 5 will bring conflict among the people.
Nepal issued the new constitution on Sept. 20 last year after it became a secular republic in 2008 with the overthrow of the 240-year Monarchy. (Source: Xinhua )