Speaker’s bid to end House deadlock fails

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Speaker Onasari Gharti’s bid to end the deadlock in Legislature-Parliament over the constitution amendment bill has failed to yield results.

Speaker Gharti on Thursday held separate meetings with Nepali Congress President Sher Bahadur Deuba and CPN-UML Chairman KP Sharma Oli.
Taking exception to the government move of registering the constitution amendment bill, the UML, which has launched protests, has been obstructing parliamentary proceedings, saying it will block the bill at any cost.
The government on November 29 registered the amendment bill at the Parliament Secretariat in a bid to address the concerns voiced by the agitating Madhes-based parties.
Speaker Gharti is scheduled to hold a meeting with Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal on Friday in a bid to find a way to break the current stalemate, her office said.
Sources at her office said that Deuba and Oli presented their respective positions on amendment bill during the meetings.
Oli outright refused to let the House function, saying the government must withdraw the amendment bill, they said.
During her meetings with the two leaders, Speaker Gharti had urged them to work to resolve the standoff at the earliest for the smooth implementation of the constitution.
But UML Chairman Oli is learnt to have told Speaker Gharti that his party would not support the charter amendment bill.
“We will not support the amendment bill. Nor will we let the House resume its business until the bill is withdrawn,” the sources quoted Oli as telling the Speaker.
Speaker Gharti is yet to table the bill in the House, as she is working to find a way out through consensus.
She had also drawn the attention of the two leaders to an impeachment motion against Lokman Singh Karki, on which Parliament has failed to continue discussions due to House obstruction by the UML.
Both Deuba and Oli maintained their positions during their meetings with the Speaker. While Deuba stood in favour of the bill saying it cannot be withdrawn, Oli refused to budge from his stance and urged Speaker Gharti to take initiatives for making the government withdraw the bill.
“Whether the bill gets endorsed or fails… it’s the call of the House; we are not going to withdraw the bill,” Deuba is learnt to have told Speaker Gharti.
After his meeting with the Speaker, Deuba, while speaking to reporters, however, expressed hope that the standoff will not continue forever.
Oli, on the other hand, said the UML will not obstruct the House even for a second once the bill is withdrawn.
“I told the Speaker that the only condition for letting the House function is withdrawing the amendment bill,” Oli told reporters.

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