Nepal Parliament fails to endorse Constitution amendment bill

Nepal’s parliament on Monday failed to endorse the much-awaited Constitution amendment bill to address the issues of Madhesis as the ruling coalition could not garner a two-thirds majority required for its passage. In the 592-member House, 395 votes were required to get the amendment bill through. During the voting, 347 lawmakers voted in favour of the bill while 206 lawmakers voted against it. Of the total 592 lawmakers, 553 lawmakers were present during the voting.

The main opposition, CPN UML, voted against the bill. Rastriya Prajatantra Party led by Kamal Thapa, a pro-Hindu group, had also voted against the bill. The voting process commenced after the 50 proposals to amend the bill registered by various political parties were rejected by a majority.

Earlier, a total of 54 lawmakers took part in the deliberations of the bill that was forwarded to address demands raised by the agitating Madhes-centric parties who have been opposing the local elections on the ground that the new Constitution be amended to accommodate their views. They want more representation in the Parliament and redrawing of provincial boundaries.

Madhesis, mostly of Indian-origin, launched a prolonged agitation between September 2015 and February last year against the implementation of the new Constitution which they felt marginalised the Terai community.

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