Category Archives: Constituent Assembly 2

Nepal: Elections, Voters and the Economy

Nepalis Are Not Dumb. They Voted Parties with Best Economic Policies for Nepal

By Siromani Dhungana/UWB

“An empty stomach is not a good political adviser”- Albert Einstein

The Constituent Assembly election is over now but its impact will remain until the next election. People have expressed their aspirations and exercised their power during this election so as to set the progressive course for issues that matter them the most. After humiliating defeat of left-extremism, there is hue and cry among so-called progressive analysts who think the country still needs extremist agendas to dominate Nepali life and influence policies. Supporters of left-extremism (aka ethnic federalism) are trying their best to interpret the result as voters’ revenge against Maoists but not their approval of stands taken by the Nepali Congress and the UML on federalism (multiple identity). In this article, I am not going after the ethnic extremists’ lame argument. This is my attempt to analyze the election results in the light of economy. Continue reading

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Nepali Congress Manifesto: Executive Prime Minister, Ceremonial President, Parliamentary Supremacy

Republican Nepali Congress Thinks An Autocratic Person Born In A Feudal Family Can’t Be The Symbol Of National Unity In Nepal: “An inclusive and constitutional federal democracy will be the symbol of national unity, not a person or a position. Nepal would enter into a new era of national unity by electing the head of state through people’s representatives.”-Nepali Congress Manifesto

The Nepali Congress (NC), Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala’s Party that leads the ruling seven-party alliance, publicised its manifesto for the April 10 Constituent Assembly polls today proposing a prime ministerial system of governance in which the Prime Minister will have the executive powers while the President will be the ceremonial Head of State. The Head of State will be elected by the members of the central and federal parliaments. The manifesto has also emphasized parliament’s supremacy; the council of ministers will be fully accountable to the parliament.

The manifesto has proposed a three-tier- central, state and local – governance structure suggesting an integrated and sovereign federal republican Nepal. It has proposed an end to the existing unitary and centralized system of governance to go for autonomous federal states based on national integrity, geography, population, natural resources, economic viability, among others. The manifesto does not mention the number of such states to be formed. That will be decided by the Constituent Assembly on the basis of the report of the Recommendation Commission for Restructuring the State, the manifesto states.

Related Blog: Communist Manifestos: Maoist Vs UML (United Marxist Leninist)

The manifesto has also proposed a central government and autonomous regional governments of different federal states. Similarly, there will be a bicameral parliament at the centre and a unicameral parliament in each federal state. Proposals to uplift the economic standard and utilization of water resources are also mentioned in the manifesto. NC has also proposed to make the Nepal Army inclusive and professional and to restructure the civil service and Nepal Police under a federal system.

CA Poll for Nationalism and Republic, That's Maoist Slogan for the Elections

Yes, Maoists have finalized their slogan for the CA polls, reports Ghanashyan Ojha in the Kathmandu Post

With just 71 days remaining for the Constituent Assembly (CA) poll, the CPN-Maoist has picked a poll slogan and decided to muster all its strength for the success of the poll. At the end of a three-day conference of party cadres, the Maoists selected “CA poll for nationalism and republic” and “CA poll for self-governing and people-oriented Nepal” as their main slogans for the election. Addressing the concluding session of the conference, Maoist Chairman Prachanda asked the party cadres to take the CA poll as another battle for the party. “Maoists have to take the responsibility of the country. We must secure a majority to transform the country into a new Nepal,” Prachanda told his party cadres. Maoist central leader Barsa Man Pun ‘Ananta’ said Prachanda also asked the cadres to focus on pro-people activities. “Your activities and behavior should win the hearts and minds of the people. Your organizations should be focused on the election,” Ananta quoted Prachanda as telling party cadres. Prachanda also asked the cadres not to engage in any activity that tarnishes the image of the party. “He (Prachanda) instructed them to sincerely honor the 23-point agreement,” Ananta said. Prachanda also asked the cadres to establish a working alliance with nationalist and republican forces at the local level. “Alliance with nationalist and republican forces is essential for the New Nepal,” Ananta quoted Prachanda as saying. Prachanda asked the party cadres to launch their election campaign across the country.

Will CA Elections be Held or Postponed for the Third Time?

Contributed by: Bishnu Pathak, PhD and Chitra Niraula

The concern of people of all strata in Nepal is whether the election of Constituent Assembly (CA) will be held on April or postponed again. There is a huge political dispute and debate going on among the political parties. The international community is also unsure of the condition and has taken the stand of ‘wait and see’. The civil society too is clinging to the thin thread of CA polls. The PM Girija Prasad Koirala was saying that he would resign if CA is not held and his basis to work would be finished 56 days prior to the first CA schedule (mid-June 2007). However, the Election Commission (EC) issued a statement that the polls would require 110 days for preparation and could not meet the deadline, which led to postponement for the first time. People believe that the statement was put forward through the EC because to save the image of NC (particularly the PM). The second date fixed was Nov 22, 2007, which was postponed because of the debates instigated by two issues raised by Maoists: declaration of republic and full proportionate electorate system. Continue reading

April 10 (28 Chaitra) is the New Date for Constituent Assembly Elections

Previous dates when we couldn’t vote: June 20, November 22.

The government of Nepal today fixed April 10 (28 Chaitra) as the date for Constituent Assembly election. Polls will be held in a single phase. A meeting of the council of ministers this afternoon fixed the election date. A meeting of the top leaders of three big parties Nepali Congress, CPN (UML) and CPN (M) held in Baluwatar in the morning had approved the date.

…. but our past experience with the CA election dates is bitter:

1. Thanks To Maoists, Constituent Assembly Election Postponed Again
2. Finally Constituent Assembly Election is Uncertain. Damn…

Once EC invited us to vote: Come One, Come All To Vote Your Destiny: Election Commission

Political Memo: Leaders Still Bargaining

Even as the crucial meeting of the special session of the house is hours away, the leaders of the ruling alliance and the Maoist are failing to break the political deadlock that’s marring the politics of the country n the past several weeks. A meeting of the top leaders of the seven-party alliance (which includes the Maoists) today ended without any solid conclusion. Nepali Congress and its president Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala are firm on their stand that is against the Maoist motions of seeking a fully proportional representation system of voting for the Constituent Assembly (CA) elections and an immediate declaration of a republic. Today’s Kantipur has reported that the Maoists are softening their stand: going for mentioning the word republic in the constitution and agreeing to make the First Past Post voting method of the mixed electoral system more proportional. NC has shown its willingness to agree on this second option where as the fate of the first option still remains to be decided. Continue reading

Referendum Politics: Revisiting Regression?

Referendum would be a step backward from where we are now and many steps backward from results of the Constituent Assembly elections.

By Dinesh Wagle
Wagle Street Journal

“Roop” and “saar” (appearance and essence) are the two words that comrade Prachanda loves using the most. Many might not instantly believe if I say the Maoist is a republican party only in roop. It’s the one force that is in essence, in the name of super leftist politics, providing breathing ground to the ailing monarchy. No one should be in doubt that the Maoists were the only force that was responsible for the postponement of the CA election slated for 22 November. They brought up the issues that were already agreed upon (proportional voting system and declaration of a republic) to derail the electoral process. Now they are bringing other non-issues as issues to undermine the prospects of any future Constituent Assembly elections. Talk of the town, suddenly, is the referendum on the fate of monarchy. In principle, no one can deny the democratic nature of the plebiscite but to talk about holding a referendum on monarchy at this point in time would be nothing but provide a life to 240 year old feudal institution. Continue reading

Thanks To Maoists, Constituent Assembly Election Postponed Again

No new date has been fixed. The Election Commission alone does not have the right to fix a new date.

In a very sad political development in Nepal, the Election Commission today suspended the entire process of Constitution Assembly elections scheduled for 22 November after it received a request this morning from the government to do so. The government, on its part, decided to request the Commission after the alliance of seven parties decided to postpone the electoral process. The seven party alliance (that includes the Maoist) decided to postpone the election programs after the Maoists expressed their unwillingness to participate in the election (without first declaring Nepal a republic and/or adopting full proportional voting system) in a meeting of the seven parties held at Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala’s residence at Baluwatar this morning. The Election Commission that had completed all preparations for the elections thanked all political parties, leaders, the media, the general public and international community for extending their support during commission’s preparation work for the polls. Continue reading

Maoists Quit Nepal Government, Political Crisis in the Country

Constituent Assembly Election Is Uncertain, Country Faces Further Chaos On The Streets Though the Maoists Have Said They Wouldn’t Go Against the Comprehensive Peace Agreement

Maoist cadres and supporters participate in a rally in Jorpati demanding declaration of republic. Many rallies like this one came together in Tundikhel and turned into a mass meeting that was addressed by top leaders of the Maoists. Chairman Prachanda was absent. Pic by Sita

Five months and 17 days after they enthusiastically joined the government giving Nepalis hope of peaceful future, the Maoist party has called it a day as the ministers representing former rebel organization in the cabinet tendered their resignations to the Prime Minister this afternoon. The resignations come after their party’s talks with other collation partners couldn’t produce a solid conclusion today in Baluwataar, the official residence of the PM. The meeting was attended by the Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala, CPN-UML General Secretary Madhav Kumar Nepal, Maoist chairman Prachanda and NC-Democratic President Sher Bahadur Deuba. Also present was CPN Unity Center General Secretary Prakash who has been working as a facilitator in the talks on the 22-pint demands of the Maoist party.

Update 1: There is still some place for hope though. The resignations haven’t been accepted yet and Maoists haven’t severed their ties with the Eight Party Alliance. Prakash, a mediator in the crisis, said that he was still hopeful as the EPA has called a meeting tomorrow.

Update 2: Meanwhile, the Maoists have started organizing rallies in various parts of the country. Kantipur FM is reporting that Maoist supporters organized a mute rally in Chitwan and guerillas in Shakitkhor cantonment also organized a protest.

Maoist protest programmes: door-to-door campaign – September 19 to 22, mass meetings in each VDC and municipality- September 22- 29, gherao all election offices September 30 (the day for filing the candidacy for CA elections), ‘expose’ the persons indicted by Rayamajhi Commission from September 29 to October 2, and organize a nationwide political strike from October 4 to 6. (read a report from the Maoist mass meeting on THT)

With their quitting the government, the election of the Constituent Assembly is now effectively under uncertainty. The Election Commission has implemented its Code of Conduct from today. Continue reading

Maoists Quit Nepal Government, Political Crisis in the Country

Constituent Assembly Election Is Uncertain, Country Faces Further Chaos On The Streets Though the Maoists Have Said They Wouldn’t Go Against the Comprehensive Peace Agreement

Maoist cadres and supporters participate in a rally in Jorpati demanding declaration of republic. Many rallies like this one came together in Tundikhel and turned into a mass meeting that was addressed by top leaders of the Maoists. Chairman Prachanda was absent. Pic by Sita

Five months and 17 days after they enthusiastically joined the government giving Nepalis hope of peaceful future, the Maoist party has called it a day as the ministers representing former rebel organization in the cabinet tendered their resignations to the Prime Minister this afternoon. The resignations come after their party’s talks with other collation partners couldn’t produce a solid conclusion today in Baluwataar, the official residence of the PM. The meeting was attended by the Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala, CPN-UML General Secretary Madhav Kumar Nepal, Maoist chairman Prachanda and NC-Democratic President Sher Bahadur Deuba. Also present was CPN Unity Center General Secretary Prakash who has been working as a facilitator in the talks on the 22-pint demands of the Maoist party.

Update 1: There is still some place for hope though. The resignations haven’t been accepted yet and Maoists haven’t severed their ties with the Eight Party Alliance. Prakash, a mediator in the crisis, said that he was still hopeful as the EPA has called a meeting tomorrow.

Update 2: Meanwhile, the Maoists have started organizing rallies in various parts of the country. Kantipur FM is reporting that Maoist supporters organized a mute rally in Chitwan and guerillas in Shakitkhor cantonment also organized a protest.

Maoist protest programmes: door-to-door campaign – September 19 to 22, mass meetings in each VDC and municipality- September 22- 29, gherao all election offices September 30 (the day for filing the candidacy for CA elections), ‘expose’ the persons indicted by Rayamajhi Commission from September 29 to October 2, and organize a nationwide political strike from October 4 to 6. (read a report from the Maoist mass meeting on THT)

With their quitting the government, the election of the Constituent Assembly is now effectively under uncertainty. The Election Commission has implemented its Code of Conduct from today. Continue reading