" He said it was up to Nepali leaders to resolve the contentious issues by themselves."
Kathmandu, Dec 15 - With the Jan 22 deadline hardly five weeks away, Nepal's Constituent Assembly (CA) Monday initiated deliberations on resolving the contentious issues coming in the way of framing the country's new constitution.

The disputed issues were presented to the Constituent Assembly last week after the Political Dialogue and Consensus Committee (PDCC) failed to resolve them, Xinhua reported.

During a meeting earlier in the day, Nepali ruling and opposition parties had totally different attitudes on how to settle the sticking points hampering the exercise.

The ruling parties -- Nepali Congress and Communist Party of Nepal-Unified Marxist-Leninist (CPN-UML) -- said the contentious issues should be resolved through a voting process, while opposition parties continued to insist that it would not be possible to promulgate the new constitution without consensus of all the political parties.

If parties cannot settle the contentious issues, the new constitution should be drafted through a voting process, Nepali Congress vice-president Ram Chandra Poudel said.

Speaking in the House, opposition party leader Krishna Bahadur Mahara said the parties should seek alternatives as parties have very little time to forge consensus.

He said the new constitution should be drafted on the basis of consensus.

However, Bhim Rawal, a CPN-UML leader, said it was necessary to promulgate the new constitution even by going for a voting process if consensus was not forged in this regard.

He said it was up to Nepali leaders to resolve the contentious issues by themselves.

The key contentious issues in the debate, among others, relate to the form of government, the electoral system, name, number and the boundaries of federal provinces, protection of preferential rights, the independence of the judiciary and arrangements for the transitional period after the promulgation of the new constitution.


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