The ruling parties have changed their plan to table the constitution amendment bill in Parliament on Thursday after the main opposition CPN-UML threatened to intensify its protests both within and outside the legislature. Following strong protests by the opposition camp, Speaker Onsari Gharti did not convene the scheduled House meeting on Thursday and informed lawmakers that the next meting will take place Sunday.
“We had expected an improvement in the situation but the ruling parties insisted on tabling the amendment bill in the House,” CPN-UML chief whip Bhanubhakta Dhakal told Republica. “We then clearly told them that we wouldn’t allow the government to table the bill.” After UML and other opposition parties warned the ruling parties not to choose the wrong option of tabling the amendment proposal, a meeting of the Business Advisory Committee decided to postpone the House meeting to seek consensus. The House meeting was then postponed till Sunday.
Eight opposition parties including the UML have been obstructing the House meeting, opposing the amendment bill registered by the government. Amid the obstructions, the chief whips of the ruling parties had suggested including the amendment bill in House business as the bill had already matured for tabling. Following the warning from the opposition side, the speaker and the ruling parties decided to postpone the meeting, said Rastriya Prajatantra Party chief whip Dilnath Giri.
“We had two options: either prorogue the House or postpone the meeting to seek consensus, and we decided on the latter option,” said Giri. Press advisor to the speaker, Basudev Sharma, said that Speaker Gharti decided to postpone the House meeting in order to not allow the environment of consensus between ruling and opposition parties to further deteriorate. Earlier, an attempt by the speaker to end the obstruction had yielded no result as the ruling and opposition parties stuck to their stances.