May 29, 2010


[It was crystal clear that the Nepal Government, who looks like a 'puppet type of thing' installed by late Girija Prasad Koirala and further blessed by New Delhi South Block, would not be able to promulgate any constitution by May 28, 2010. That is what has happened here already and now they have become able to prolong the term of the Constituent Assembly for one more year also. One more point to be considered here would be the Constituent Assembly, which stands so powerful a body above the current interim constitution itself as it has amended 6 month prolongation period to one year with a few strokes of pen. A total of six more months have been unnecessarily added thereby incurring little more financial burden to the country. The constitution explicitly says 'only 6 months' can be added or prolonged in that it could not produce the constitution on time. Well, never mind. That is fine if the country can find a 'permanent constitution' at least for another 20 years ! That should work. ( The 'Peoples' Constitution of 1990 was killed in 2006 and another 'Royal Constitution' of 1962 was also killed in 1990). 
But it is again uncertain whether the Constituent Assembly will be able to finish the job on time ?! What will be the fundamentals of the up-coming constitution, can be another bitter question. The Maoists have put their draft constitution up in the air where no room for any oppositions comes into sight. Any government without any opposition is dictatorial and frightening.  
This has offered a clear reflection that the Maoists are still out there holding hard onto the Marxian 'goat head' in Nepal's current Constituent Assembly to undermine universal standard of human rights, democratic norms and values also. So it won't be any surprising spectacle the Maoists flexing all their muscles to promulgate a constitution of their own kind, which would not be a possible thing to do for other parties. Virtually, other parties would also produce their own type of constitution stressing more on conservative school. The Madhav Kumar Nepal government has already exemplified it offering red carpets to some Swamis to run their Yoga schools in Kathmandu and outskirts quite recently. 
In such  a case Nepali Congress rebel leader Nara Hari Acharya's draft has a chance of getting it looked. But we have  no idea whether the fundamental of Nepal's  multinational being has been addressed in this draft also. 
The situation seems pretty much the same that parties won't accept any drafts from rival parties and one year will just pass in a whiff of air as they would indulge themselves in tug of war again. Then there will be no constitution in Nepal finally
Here is a question to all the fellow Nepalese: in case the Constitution Assembly needed to add one more year again in 2011 to produce 'a nice constitution', will you be simply accepting them to be doing  so ? For more please read a report below from The New York Times also.] 


KATMANDU, NepalNepal averted political chaos on Friday when the leading political parties reached a last-minute agreement that prevented the dissolution of Parliament and provided another year for the Himalayan nation to complete its peace process.

Faced with a midnight deadline, Nepal’s Maoists reached a broadly worded deal with leaders of two other major political parties in which the Maoists agreed to extend the term of Parliament, the Constituent Assembly. In exchange, Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal agreed to resign at an unspecified time in the future to “pave the way” for a new government.

Members of the assembly took up the measure before midnight and passed it around 1 a.m., after leaders had signaled their approval. The Maoists had been demanding the resignation of the prime minister before Friday’s deadline as a precondition for extending the assembly. But Mr. Nepal had refused and other parties had insisted on certain commitments by the Maoists.

It appears that the agreement was worded so that both sides could claim victory; the prime minister did not resign, though the Maoists have received a written confirmation that he will eventually do so. The brief, three-point agreement did not specify if the parties had made progress on other outstanding issues, but it suggested that they would be addressed in an extended legislative session and during the drafting of a new constitution.

“We are firmly committed to consensus and cooperation to take the peace process to a logical conclusion and to immediately complete the remaining tasks of the peace process and to accomplish the historic responsibility of writing a new constitution,” the agreement read, according to an unofficial translation.

Bishnu Rijal, press adviser to the prime minister, praised the deal. “It is a breakthrough,” Mr. Rijal said. “It has opened the door for consensus and to end the current political deadlock.”

Nepal is enduring a rocky transition from feudal monarchy to secular democratic republic. Friday was supposed to culminate the peace process that began roughly four years ago when Maoists agreed to end a 10-year guerrilla war. The country has operated under an interim constitution, and Friday was the deadline for drafting a permanent one.

But the Maoists, now a political party, and other leading political parties have been sparring for months over a range of issues, including the fate of the more than 19,000 former Maoist soldiers living in camps monitored by the United Nations. Rival political parties had also questioned whether Maoists were truly committed to democratic principles like separation of powers.

Meanwhile, Maoists had called general strikes as part of their campaign to force the prime minister to resign. In 2008, Maoists had won a plurality of seats in the Constituent Assembly and formed a government, only to step down after nine months in a political dispute. They have demanded that they be allowed to form a “national consensus” government to oversee the drafting of the constitution.
Narayan Kaji Shrestha, a Maoist vice chairman, called the agreement a positive development. “The prime minister has committed to resign, which we have long been demanding,” he said. “Our demands have been addressed to some extent, though the prime minister did not resign today.”

Nepal has faced a political challenge unlike few other countries. The new constitution is expected to restructure the national government drastically; create, for the first time, a federalist system of states; codify the relationship between the branches of government; and expand the list of official languages.

Pinned between India and China, the world’s fastest growing major economies, Nepal needs political stability so that it can capitalize on its strategic location and jump-start its mediocre economic growth. India and China, both desirous of stability in Nepal, have been closely watching developments, with the Maoists accusing India of exerting too much influence.

Source: The New York Times
Kiran Chapagain reported from Katmandu, and Jim Yardley from New Delhi.
May 28, 2010