KATHMANDU, Jan. 22 (Xinhua) -- Amid the protest from CPN-Maoist- led 33-party alliance, Nepal held the first meeting of the Constituent Assembly (CA), a constitution drafting body, on Wednesday.
The first meeting was chaired by octogenarian lawmaker Surya Bahadur Thapa, a former prime minister and chairman of Rastriya Prajatantra Party (RPP), a centrist party.
The first meeting, however, failed to make any headway on constitution drafting process as parties are divided about the procedures of writing a new constitution.
In the meeting, Thapa read out the letter dispatched by Interim Election Chairman Khilraj Regmi. The next meeting of CA is scheduled to take place on January 29 which is likely to resume the constitution drafting process.
Addressing the first meeting, Thapa said that parties will have to promulgate a new constitution within a year to regain the trust of the people which decayed after the dissolution of CA in May 27, 2012. "The primary tasks of parties are to work to promulgate a new constitution as soon as possible," Thapa said. The parties are saying that they will own the progress made by dissolved CA but they have not done any preparations.
When the CA meeting was underway, 33-party alliance, which boycotted the November 19 election, protested outside the CA building. Heavy security forces were deployed surrounding CA building to prevent the protest. CPN- Maoist Vice-chairman CP Gajurel led the protest program of the 33-party alliance.
The 33-party alliance boycotted the November 19 election, saying that CA cannot promulgate a new pro-people constitution. The alliance is serving as an opposition force of the country.
"We decided to protest with black flags and banners in front of the CA building on January 22," CPN-Maoist Secretary CP Gajurel said, addressing the protest program.
The alliance said that CA-2 is against the "national independence" and it should be boycotted by the people. The alliance also demanded a roundtable conference for drafting a new constitution on which major parties represented in the CA disagree.