Category Archives: Constituent Assembly

Constituent Assembly term extended for three months

Members of constituent assembly sleeping inside the CA building

This is how the CA members spent the long night in the Constituent Assembly building...as the meeting got extended...by several hours in the night. click on the pic to enlarge it

By Phanindra Dahal

After hectic parleys late into Saturday night and wee hours of Sunday (today), the political parties struck a five-point deal, paving the way for a three-month extension of the Constituent Assembly.

According to the pact signed by top three leaders of the three major parties: 

1) the Constituent Assembly term will be extended by three months;
2) fundamentals of the peace process will be readied within three months;
3) the first draft of the new constitution will be prepared within three months;
4) the Prime Minister will quit to pave the way for formation of a national consensus government; and
5) the Nepal Army will be developed as an inclusive institution by implementing the past agreements signed with Madhesi Morcha.

However, it wasn’t clear when the Prime Minister’s resignation would come.

Earlier before the signing of the agreement, Samyukta Loktantrik Madhesi Morcha (SLMM) kept harping on PM Khanal’s immediate resignation. Continue reading

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The last day of Constituent Assembly […if not extended]

As seen outside the Constituent Assembly complex in New Baneshwor, Kathmandu today. The CA’s term will expire today (midnight) if it is not extended. There are have been signs that it could be extended for a few months. (five pics)

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Monkey act?: Four ‘restive’ legs and several ‘resting’ leaves

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Communist Manifestos: Maoist Vs UML (United Marxist Leninist)

Two major communist parties of Nepal make their Constituent Assembly elections manifestos public this week. Read on before deciding to vote for anyone of them:

[Next blog: Wagle has been following the campaign trail of Maoist Chairman Prachanda for the past few days. How do people who were seen in Prachanda campaign rallies think about the man who led the violent revolution? Are they going to vote for him in Kathmandu-10? Plus, interview with the leader and his campaign verbatim.]

UML, In CA Manifesto, Proposes Executive PM, Ceremonial President

A major ally of the ruling Seven-Party alliance (SPA), CPN-UML on Sunday made public its election manifesto for the Constituent Assembly (CA) proposing to bestow the executive powers of the state upon the Prime Minister and to give just a ceremonial role to the President who will also be the head of the state. UML General Secretary Madhav Kumar Nepal publicised the manifesto with the slogan ‘Let’s establish a federal democratic republic, let’s build a strong and prosperous Nepal”, at a press conference organised at the UML headquarters at Balkhu in the capital today.

The manifesto has proposed to elect the Prime Minster under first-past-the-post (FPTP) election system and the President through a clear majority of the elected parliament. The UML manifesto has also proposed to bestow all responsibilities of the country’s administration upon the Prime Minister. The party, however, has proposed to entitle only limited rights and responsibilities to the President in his capacity as the ceremonial Head of State. Likewise, the manifesto has also provisions for a bicameral legislative body at the centre, unicameral assembly at each state under the new federal governance system. UML General Secretary Nepal said, “The elected representatives shall run the local bodies.” “We have forwarded the principle of developing the federal structure on the basis of ethnic, linguistic, cultural and geographical distinctiveness,” he added.

The UML manifesto, however, does not mention the number of states to be formed under the federal system. The party has said that the number of states will be determined later by the state restructuring a commission comprising experts. According to the manifesto, the first CA meeting will form a commission with the consensus of the political parties to draft a new constitution and to restructure the country in a progressive manner. Regarding UML’s economic plan, the UML General Secretary said, “We have proposed for the development of the public, private and cooperative sectors as the pillars of our economy.”

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Four Reasons Why Prachanda Chose Kathmandu-10 to Fight CA Election

Does Prachanda have a chance of winning? The answer is yes and no.

By Bishnu Budhathoki
the Kathmandu Post

Maoist Chairman Prachanda was born in a remote village of Kaski district and brought up in Chitwan district, but he has chosen Kathmandu Constituency-10 and Rolpa Constituency- 2 to contest the upcoming Constituent Assembly (CA) election. Why did he decide to contest election from Kathmandu Constituency-10 ? More importantly, what are his chances of winning ?

This constituency, with a total of 63,788 voters, includes Kirtipur Municipality and 12 surrounding VDCs. Over 57 percent of the electorate reside in villages and ethnic communities (Newars, mainly Jyapu, and Tamangs) and Dalits have a strong domination.

There are at least four reasons why Prachanda chose this constituency.

First, the Newars of Kirtipur have a deep-seated resentment against the Shah dynasty for alleged atrocity by Prithivi Narayan Shah’s troops during his unification campaign. Prithivi Narayan conquered Kirtipur only after a third attempt and it was there that he lost his key lieutenant, Kalu Pandey, and his brother lost an eye. So, when his forces finally conquered Kirtipur they unleashed unspeakable atrocities- something that has stayed with the local people as a “chosen trauma”. Continue reading

Election Fever Grips Nepal

Days after the government and the protesting United Democratic Madhesi Front (UDMF) struck a crucial deal on Feb 27,2008 (see inside if you haven’t already!) the political parties have started their Constituent Assembly Elections campaigns all over the country. The Maoists party who will be participating in the elections campaign for the first time after a decade long armed conflict remain the centre of attention for Nepalese within and outside the country. In his maiden campaign CPN (Maoist) Chairman Prachanda appealed to locals of Kirtipur Municipality and surrounding areas of Kathmandu Constituency-10 to cast their votes for himself and his party during the upcoming Constituent Assembly (CA) election to accomplish the final revolution.

The interest of the international community on the latest developments cannot be ignored either. More so, when is our neighbor India we are talking about.News has it that the Indian Ambassador to Nepal Shiv Shankhar Mukherjee flew to New Delhi night to brief his government on the latest political developments here.He is scheduled to hold discussions with high-ranking Indian government officials on the latest political developments including the situation in the aftermath of signing of the agreement between Nepal government and the agitating Madhesi groups. The Indian Embassy no doubt states that is only a regular meeting.

As some parties are now engaged in erasing graffiti complying with the Election Commission guidelines a trend of quitting the parties is on the rise. Six lawmakers from the Nepali Congress and one from Rastriya Prajatantra Party resigned from their parties and parliament on Monday to join the Madhesi People’s Rights Forum (MPRF).More here

Whatever the change of events the election fever has caught the nation. And it looks as the elections are finally around the corner ! Continue reading

My faith in NC leadership is dwindling

By Puskar Magar
Bharatpur, Chitwan
Currently in United Arab Emirate

The selection of Nepali Congress (NC) candidates for CA election has been completed. My nightmare turned out to be true. Most of the corrupt leaders such as Govinda Raj Joshi, Khum Bahadur Khadka etc. were awarded with the ticket. NC supporters like me are stunned by this decision.

This is a vivid example that NC leadership doest not recognize people’s voices. All sister organizations from Joshi’s and Wagle constituencies had written to NC leadership and requested not give ticket to these leaders. These corrupt leaders have not been to district for years if not months. Mr. Joshi tried to go to his district Tanahun twice but was turned away because of his misdeed. Khadka’s popularity has plummeted in Dang. Chiranjeeve has not been to his district Gorkha for at least two years. These leaders are not popular and there is rare chance for their victory in this election. Then, the question remains why these leaders were awarded tickets?

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37 parties submit closed list:Some 4,000 candidates in fray

Report BY BISHNU BUDHATHOKI, The Kathmandu Post ( Feb21,2008 edition)

Out of the 74 parties registered at the Election Commission (EC), 37 parties including those in the ruling seven-party alliance submitted closed lists of their candidates at the EC Wednesday for contesting 335 Constituent Assembly seats under the proportional electoral system.

After submission of his party’s closed list, Maoist Chairman Prachanda, flanked by senior party leader Ram Bahadur Thapa ‘Badal’ and Maoist ministers, told journalists at the EC premises that the CPN-Maoist list has several inclusive features.

“We have allotted around 51 percent of the seats for women, 37.8 percent for ethnic communities including minorities like the Chepangs, 90 seats for Madhesis, 15 percent seats for dalits, 12 seats for candidates from backward regions, and 87 for others, apart from several seats for independent personalities,” he said. However, the Maoists have not met the legal criteria in the case of Madhesi seats which should have numbered at least 104.

Besides the Maoists, major constituents in the coalition government the Nepali Congress and CPN-UML, and other parties in the interim parliament Rastriya Prajatantra Party and pro-monarch Rastriya Prajatantra Party-Nepal submitted candidacies for all 335 seats.

Talking to journalists, UML General Secretary Madhav Kumar Nepal said his party has submitted a very balanced list in accordance with the electoral law.

He also reiterated that the election should take place on the slated date. When asked about the non-presence of agitating Madhesi parties at the EC for submitting their lists, Nepal said the ongoing dialogue with the Madhesi leaders is heading in a positive direction and hoped they would also take part in the election.

Minister for Peace and Reconstruction Ram Chandra Poudel said that if any political party wanted to ensure the people’s rights, it should take part in the election. “If anybody does not want to take part in the election, it is his/her right, but we want to integrate all and take part in the election together,” he added.

Similarly, the ruling CPN (Marxist-Leninist) party led by CP Mainali, Nepal Sadbhavana Party-Anandidevi led by Minister for Industry, Commerce and Supplies Shyam Shundar Gupta, Nepal Workers Peasants Party and People’s Front Nepal submitted the names of 100, 64 and 53
candidates respectively for election under the proportional system.

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Constituent Assembly Preparations and Maoist Celebrations

Amidst the preparations of the Constituent Assembly elections two months away, the Maoists celebrate their Thirteenth Anniversary in the valley today. The streets have been decorated with graffiti through which YCL (Young Communist League) offer their “Red Salute” to “Prachanda, the Future President” of the Nepal. The “Future” is yet to be seen as the elections are still two months away. And given the political climate of Nepal, anything can happen even in the eleventh hour. Keeping those possibilities aside, the Elections Commission has asked all the political parties to erase all graffiti by Feb 20. The Election Code which such comes into effect from the very date bans graffiti writing, painting on walls and putting up of posters and banners by parties and candidates at public and private sites in the course of electioneering. Feb 20, doesn’t seem to be a date in near future for our political parties as they are still continuing with their graffiti. The Constituent Assembly Elections has been for April 20,2008 after postponing it twice in April 2007 and then Nov22,2007. Thirteen may not after all be an unlucky number for the Maoists ( and the country) if the polls take place as planned.

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The Constituent Assembly Elections: hindrances and hope

The Constituent Assembly Polls around the corner, YCL cadres are being dragged into more than one controversy,with condemnations of trying to disrupt the elections.National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on Thursday condemned the Maoist attack against NC activists including Badu two days ago in Darchula district. The human rights watch dog has also slammed Maoists for reviving the United Revolu-tionary People’s Council. More Here The Nepali Congress (NC) and CPN-UML, the two major factions of the ruling seven-party alliance Thursday flayed the Maoist decision to revive its United Revolutionary People’s Council (URPC). More here Though Senior Maoist leader Dr Baburam Bhattarai has claimed that the United Revolutionary People’s Council(URPC) is not a “parallel government”.

The assurance of the Maoist leader aside, Young Communist League(YCL) Ganesh Man Pun claimed that they are capable of capturing the entire Kathmandu in just five minutes.He was speaking at a protest function in Ratnapark to protest against police action at YCL offices Wednesday. More here

protest of YCL

The YCL Protest against the Police raid in Ratnapark on Wednesday. Pic by DK

The unrest in Terai, added to the list of hindrances to hold the Constituent Elections successfully Ameet Dhakal writes in The Kathmandu Post on why the elections are unstoppable now.

Election: Unstoppable now
Five reasons why election will happen

By AMEET DHAKAL

Will there be an election? Will the Madhesi parties come on board for the election? Is the election possible without them? We face a barrage of questions about the election these days. Everyone seems to be anxious about the polls, and it includes people from both ends of the spectrum: The ones who want it and the ones who want to scuttle it at any cost. On the surface, the closer we move to election day, the more uncertain it seems to become. But that’s just what appears on the surface; scratch beneath it, and the polls appear unstoppable. Here are five reasons why.

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The 'Voting Day' Demand: Declare New Election Dates

Had Maoists not gone mad and pulled out from the government, we would be voting today to elect the Constituent Assembly that would abolish the monarchy from Nepal and bring out new constitution. Election didn’t happen because Maoists were afraid of their possible pathetic loosing in the elections. Holding of CA elections is one of the key parts of the peace process that officially began with the signing of the peace agreement (which celebrated its first anniversary yesterday) and it’s not unusual that without the participation of the one side of the peace agreement, no election can happen. If Maoists are serious enough to give a conclusive end to the peace process, they must not hesitate to go to the election which will provide further bases for the peace process itself.

Maoists should stop their republic-first-then-only-elections rots and join forces the other parties in the Six Party Alliance to declare new dates for the elections. This is the only way forward. The petty political talks of changing the government leadership (from NC to UML) and mass street agitations will not help the progressive and democratic republic forces in Nepal.