And so once again brinkmanship is the order of the day. Just as consensus appeared unlikely, so all of the major parties agreed to an extension of the Constituent Assembly. It has finally been extended for a year with 580 votes in favour and five against, at a meeting of parliament that began at 11:45 pm on Friday. The CA extension became possible after the three major parties which between them hold a two-thirds majority in the CA agreed the following three point agreement:
- We are firmly committed to consensus and cooperation to take the peace process to a logical conclusion and to complete the remaining tasks of the peace process and accomplish the historic responsibility of writing a new constitution without delay.
- Though significant progress has been made toward constitution drafting process, all the works have not been completed yet. So we have agreed to extend the term of the Constituent Assembly by one year.
- We are ready to move ahead on the basis of consensus to accomplish the above-mentioned responsibilities and works as soon as possible by forming a national consensus government. We would like to make it clear that the prime minister of the present coalition government is ready to resign without delay.
Although there was perhaps a certain inevitability to this, there was still time on 28 May for some of the smaller political parties to protest about the seeming intransigence of the main protagonists.
And finally today, the Unified CPN-Maoist Party oraganised a mass meeting at Khula Manch, Kathmandu to make public the ‘People’s Constitution of Nepal’.
I suspect there still remain a few twists and turns to this tale…