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TRC Bill to get a special panel push

TRC Bill to get a special panel push
The three major parties—the Nepali Congress, CPN-UML and the CPN (Maoist Center)—have reached an understanding to get the Bill on Constitutional Council (CC) approved through the Parliament, apart from agreeing to form a special committee for inter-party discussions on the long-pending Truth and Reconciliation Bill. With the CC Bill stuck, the council tasked with making appointments in constitutional bodies, including the Supreme Court, has not been able to hold its meeting, stalling the process for the appointment of the Chief Justice. Monday’s meeting at Singhadurbar between Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal, Congress President Sher Bahadur Deuba and KP Sharma Oli, chair of the UML, the main opposition, delved into the CC Bill. The three leaders agreed to end the prevailing constitutional void by getting Parliament's approval for the Bill.

Tabled in the House of Representatives, the TRC Bill has drawn fire from victims of the decade-long Maoist insurgency as well as the international community for its ‘lenient provisions intended to grant blanket amnesty in serious cases of human rights violations’ by seeking to get it approved through a fast-track method.

Lawmakers from different parties have forwarded more than 30 proposals in the lower house seeking amendments in the TRC Bill and stalling the Dahal-led ruling alliance’s attempts to get a swift parliamentary nod. The UML in particular has been standing against the efforts to pass the Bill through fast track, demanding serious discussions on the legal instrument and incorporation of the conflict victims’ concerns. Prime Minister Dahal’s recent remarks about ‘shouldering partial responsibility’ for the insurgency-era killings had triggered protests, once again reminding the parties how sensitive the issue is. The top leaders have agreed to form a 15-member parliamentary special committee for facilitating discussions on the TRC Bill.