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NEPAL: News Briefs

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Government is committed to meeting conditions set by agitating forces for dialogue, says Deputy Prime Minister Kamal Thapa: Deputy Prime Minister Kamal Thapa, who heads the Government's talk's team in a letter written to the United Democratic Madheshi Front (UDMF) and United Madheshi Front (UMF), on October 30, said that the Government is committed to meeting the conditions set by the agitating forces for dialogue. According to Manish Kumar Suman, General Secretary of Sadbhavana Party, a constituent of the UDMF, the Government stated in the letter that it had already sent INR one million each to the families of the deceased protesters and was committed to providing free treatment to injured persons and withdrawing false cases. Himalayan Times, October 31, 2015.

CPN-UML Vice-chairman Bidhya Devi Bhandari elected as new President: Vice-chairman of Communist Party of Nepal-Unified Marxist Leninist (CPN-UML) Bidhya Devi Bhandari was elected as the new President of the country on October 28. Bhandari received 327 votes in the Presidential election against her rival candidate of the Nepali Congress (NC) Kul Bahadur Gurung's 214 votes. Bhandari is the second President of the country but the first woman President of Nepal. Out of 597 votes including that of the Speaker in the 601-member Parliament, 549 members cast their votes. Eight votes were declared invalid. Himalayan Times, October 31, 2015.

Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli calls all-party meet to choose President: Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli on October 25 (today) called an all-party meet to choose a candidate for the post of President through consensus. The meeting has been called at the Legislature-Parliament building at 2 pm today. Earlier, the Central Working Committee meeting of the main opposition party Nepali Congress (NC) had decided to pitch its candidates for the post of President and Vice-President. Similarly, the Standing Committee meeting of the ruling Communist Party of Nepal-Unified Marxist Leninist (CPN-UML) had also decided to file party's candidacy for the post of President. Himalayan Times, October 25, 2015.

Government invites UDMF to come to the negotiating table: The Government sent letters to the constituents of the United Democratic Madhesi Front (UDMF) inviting them to come to the negotiating table. Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli's Press Adviser Pramod Dahal said that the Tarai Madhes Democratic Party (TMDP) had already received the Government's invitation and other constituents of the UDMF would soon receive the letter. Himalayan Times, October 17, 2015.

CPN-UML Chairman K. P. Sharma Oli elected as 38th Prime Minister of Nepal: Communist Party of Nepal-Unified Marxist Leninist (CPN-UML) Chairman K. P. Sharma Oli was elected 38th Prime Minister of Nepal on October 11 by defeating Nepali Congress (NC) President Sushil Koirala with a margin of 89 votes. Oli garnered 338 votes while Koirala polled 249 votes during the voting held at the Parliament. Seven members remained absent and two members of Tharuhat Tarai Party Nepal boycotted the voting. 587 members took part in the voting. Himalayan Times, October 12, 2015.

Government registers "first amendment bill" to address demands of Madhesi and indigenous communities: 17 days after the Constituent Assembly (CA) promulgated new constitution on September 20, the Government on October 7 registered "first amendment bill" of the constitution at Parliament Secretariat in Kathmandu seeking to address proportional inclusion and making population the basis for delineating the electoral constituencies - the two major demands of Madhesi and indigenous communities. The bill registered by Minister for Law, Justice, Constituent Assembly and Parliamentary Affairs Narahari Acharya seeks amendment to five provisions of Articles 42, 84 and 286 to address the two issues. Himalayan Times, October 8, 2015.

Government to amend the constitution: Government on October 2 initiated to amend the constitution. The Cabinet decided to direct the Ministry for Law, Justice, Constituent Assembly and Parliamentary Affairs to begin necessary procedure to amend the constitution. The amendment bill to be tabled in the House will guarantee proportional inclusion in the social justice clause of the new constitution and ensure population as the main basis for the delineation of the election constituencies as demanded by the movements of the indigenous nationalities, Madhesis, Dalits and Tharus. Himalayan Times, October 3, 2015.

Three major parties start negotiations with Madheshi parties: Three major political parties - Nepali Congress (NC), Communist Party of Nepal-Unified Marxist Leninist (CPN-UML) and Unified Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist (UCPN-M) - after a meeting held on September 28 formed a three member team comprising UCPN-M leader Narayan Kaji Shrestha, NC leader Mahesh Acharya and CPN-UML leader Agni Prasad Kharel. The team held talks separately with Tarai Madhes Democratic Party (TMDP) leaders Mahantha Thakur, Hridayesh Tripathi and Sarvendra Nath Shukla at Thakur's house in Bhaktapur; and Madhesi Janaadhikar Forum-Democratic (MJF-D) Chairman Bijaya Kumar Gachhadar at the latter's house in Sanepa. During the meeting each side urged the other to create conducive environment for talks before entering into the political agendas, according to Narayan Kaji Shrestha. Himlayan Times, October 3, 2015.

[Source: SATP]

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