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Earthquake unites Nepal political parties for early Constitution

KATHMANDU : Nepal's warring political parties united by the killer quake have agreed to set aside differences over the long-pending constitution and work towards its early promulgation. Senior politicians of Nepal's major political parties also floated in the Parliament on saturday the idea of forming a national unity government to complete works in limbo. A 27-point common motion was tabled asking the government to take prompt and specific measures for relief and rehabilitation of millions of affected people. "We should form a national unity government to complete the constitution drafting process, to hold local polls and to speed up reconstruction and rehabilitation works, said Madhav Nepal, former Prime Minister and senior leader of CPN-UML. Formation of a consensus government could bolster the government mechanism, he added. 

It is an appropriate time to form a national government, said Jhalanath Khanal, another senior leader of the party and a former premier. "I ask all the parties to take initiative to form a unity government. The earthquake certainly cost the country the loss of life and property, but has offered us an opportunity to build a new nation," Khanal said. A national government is required to meet the political, economic and social challenges after the great calamities. A national government under a dynamic leadership is required to tackle the crisis and to translate it into opportunity, said Baburam Bhattarai, former former Prime Minister and senior leader of UCPN-Maoist. "Let's give the leadership to an able one and let's give a visionary leadership," said Bhattarai. Former premier and senior leader of Nepali Congress Sher Bahadur Deuba said that leaders of both ruling and opposition parties should come together to deal with the national crisis.

 The motion is a policy document and the government will soon unveil the detail action plan for prompt implementation. A parliament oversight committee has also been envisioned which will monitor and direct the works related to relief, reconstruction and rehabilitation. Similarly, an advisory committee of leaders and experts will prepare plan and policy for reconstruction. The motion also asks the government to provide immediate relief to the victims. As the monsoon is fast approaching, there is pressure on the government to supply relief and rehabilitation to the victims at the earliest. The constitution writing process has proved to be a cumbersome work for Nepal's ruling and opposition parties. For the last eight years, they have vigorously argued their differences. The division between the parties are mainly on over four issues which include forms of governance, names and number of federal units, electoral system and judicial system. 

-PTI

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