Interim Constitution Draft For Nepal: King No Head Of State!?

Interim Constitution Draft Committee (ICDC) on Friday handed over the draft constitution to Nepal government and the Maoist party.

Interim Constitution

Laxman Aryal (mid) hands over the draft to Maoist negotiator Krishna Mahara as government negotiator Krishna Sitaula looks on.

After 172 Articles, 26 sections and 1 annex, interim constitution still has some major issues that are not left to be decided by the ruling alliance and the Maoists. Preamble of the interim constitution: The sovereignty and nationality being secured for the countrymen of Nepal, to institutionalize the results of the movements, until a new constitution is written through the CA elections, the draft constitution-2063 that was proposed by the political consensus has been declared through the parliament or any other political convention.” Chairman of the Interim House of Representative will act as the head of state in the interim period. Prime Minister will be the Supreme Commander in Chief of the Nepal Army. Nepal is a completely democratic state.

Chairman of the drafting committee Laxman Prasad Aryal submitted the draft statue to Home Minister Krishna Prasad Sitaula and Chief of the Maoist negotiating team Krishna Bahadur Mahara Friday evening. Here are key provisions in the draft:

On monarchy

The Interim Constitution Drafting Committee has recommended that fate of the monarchy should be decided by a referendum, which should be held along with the constituent assembly election.

The draft statute says that interim legislature’s chairman will take charge of the Head of the State in case monarchy is abolished before constituent assembly makes any alternative arrangement.

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Sovereignty and state power

According to the draft, sovereignty and state power will vest in Nepali people. Similarly, the committee has suggested that Nepal will be democratic and secular state. The draft statue has suggested four options to the political parties on the type of Nepali state — regional federal republic, federal democratic, socialist heading towards republic and heading towards republic.

It has been suggested that even mother languages can be used as an official language at the local level, and the state will translate the works done in mother languages into the Nepali language. This is the first time, mother languages have been recognized as official language.

More fundamental rights

The draft has added more fundamental rights. These include: no discrimination between men and women in salary and social security in the same work; rights against untouchability and caste-based discrimination; no body shall be deprived of using public places and entering into religious places on the basis of caste. Similarly, right of broadcast media and online media has also been protected. Telephone shall not be disrupted. Right to live in clean environment has been ensured. Every citizen will have right to free primary health services, while there shall be free education to all Nepalis upto secondary level. Right to employment has been proposed and the unemployed shall get unemployment allowances. Social security to women, laborers, old, disabled and helpless people have been proposed. Right against torture and right against exploitation have been proposed. Similarly, right against trafficking, bonded labor and serfdom have been ensured in the draft.

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Constituent Assembly

A constituent assembly will be formed under this constitution to draw up a new constitution by the people. The committee has not made any suggestions on the process of the election of the constituent assembly. The tenure of such an assembly will be two years. But if the drafting of a new constitution is not completed within the deadline due to emergencies, then the tenure of the assembly can be extended by six months. Such an assembly will function as legislature as well. A committee to raise awareness of the constituent assembly and its election has been proposed.
On legislature

A unicameral legislature will be formed through political consensus after the interim constitution is promulgated. Present House of Representatives will be dissolved automatically with the promulgation of the constitution. The committee has left it to up to the political parties to decide who will be the members of the interim parliament.

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On the executive

The executive power has been proposed to be limited only in the Council of Ministers. As per the 1990 constitution, the executive power vested both in the king and the Council of Ministers.

On Judiciary and constitutional bodies

All the existing courts and constitutional bodies will remain in place even after promulgation of the interim constitution. However, all the judges and constitutional body officials should be reappointed within six months of enforcement of the constitution. Those who are not reappointed will be automatically relieved from the office. Supreme Court justices and chief justice will not get any pension and gratuity upon their retirement.

A separate three-member constitutional court will be set up to look after cases related to constituent assembly election. It will be under the Supreme Court.

On army

The draft statue says National Security Council, headed by prime minister, will oversee mobilization of the Nepali Army.

The Committee has also suggested that there could be two organizations in Nepal– Nepali Army and People’s Liberation Army. Both will be confined to their respective barracks and camps during the constituent assembly election. They will be under interim legislature and interim government. Prime Minister will be supreme commander.

A high-level military commission will control and mobilize both the forces. The commission will be formed through political consensus. A unified national army will be formed through mutual agreement after the constituent assembly election.

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Citizenship

The draft has proposed for formation of a citizenship commission to address the citizenship problem, especially in the Terai region, before the election of the constituent assembly. And, individuals who participated in the referendum of 1980 or took part in the elections after 1990 or whose father or mother is born in Nepali will be Nepali citizen.

Women’s rights

Once the interim constitution becomes effective, women will enjoy equal property right and all types of discrimination against women would be put to end. Women will have right to participate by one third in each structure of the state on the principle of proportional inclusion. Any violence against women is subject to punishment.

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70 thoughts on “Interim Constitution Draft For Nepal: King No Head Of State!?”

  1. What a wonderful intellectual battle among nepalese scholars! I knew there was a reason that blind guy sang a song called “What a wonderful world..” Then again I suddenly remember an old Nepali saying “??? ??????? ???? ???? ??????” I just can’t figure out who is ‘???’ and who/what is ‘????’? I mean ‘Aggg….’ is ??? ??????? ? ?? ????, umm ???? ????, ???? ??????? ?? ???? Agggg, I am confused, Can you tell me, my friend? Aggg I mean, ‘Can you tell me, Yo Man!’
    ps: Please replace ‘Yo Man’ with ‘Dude’ -thanks

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  2. Daing! People are not only intellect but smart as well. If Castro can differentiate a white man from a blind, we neps are far better I should have known. And who said that Armstrong was black?
    RNA is Not Applicable now thats why people are refering to it as NA? I am learning so much.
    Thank you Google.

    Like

  3. This break up into different ethnic regions is worrying. The maoists should not say it if they do not mean it. One of my friends has already sold up from West Nepal and moved to Kathmandu recently, as he is a Newar and maybe he will not be welcome in an autonomous region which do not encompass his ethnicity, although his home is there and his family have been there for generations.

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  4. To Neil- please leave your romantic notion aside. You have nothing to lose but we do. As for accusation of being Royalist populating this site- now you know the true sentiment of common Nepali, not a forced and coerced one to boot.

    You post your meeting with Maoist as if its a “big accomplishment,” you champion a cause that you least understand, and you glorify the misdeeds by hiding the real pain and suffering. Its a case of over zealous in your part. If you really want to study Maoist issue or communist issue- do back to your continent and conduct research in Sandinistas. Bon voyage.

    The hard question that we need to seek is WHAT Binds us as a Nation? Lets hear it.

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  5. Communism in place of cereomonial king cannot be acceptable in this democratic era. The democratic force should understand that the ceremonial king might be their weapons to safeguard from maoism. Because even the present activities showing that they are using all the hook and crook strategies to the king and they will definately used it to democratic force although that maybe for 10-20 years. But this will bring division among the people and will have very deep rooted negative consequences for longer period maybe 100 years. The caste system and regional ruling take back to 237 years and to make-up it needs great effort. Maybe during that period our contry will become failure state and neighbouring contry might take the advantage.

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  6. This Aryal chap said in a recent interview on NTV that to him loktantra means ganatantra. Now, how can you have someone make an interim constitution who already has a completely one sided opoinion and no neutrality? Till people vote in or out monarchy, this Aryal should be making a neutral interim constitution and as he has criticised GPK for his statement on space for monarchy, how the hell can he get away by saying loktantra means ganatantra? I don’t see the media making any hue and cry about this? I also don’t mind him having a personal opinion, but I don’t think a person with such strong one sided views should be allowed to make the constitution. He should also hold that the people should decide and like GPK said, space can be given to all if the people wish it so in the elections.

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  7. Aryal and people like him is the reason that fate of this nation hangs in a balance. The personal gripe and vendetta is the motivating force. These mothers cannot rise above but are self righteous to a fault- no wonder what we get is half baked ideas that breeds confusion and more strife.

    Does anyone really know what Federalism entail or for that matter does general public know the stake or the meaning of Constitutional Assembly- NO. The fear this mothers have is- if referendum is done then the result might be quite to the contrary.

    No one seems to give a hoot about this country and how it will fare- its all about personal benefits, prominence and spin to further convulated agenda that has no basis or connection to nation’s welfare. Sorry bunch.

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  8. We focus all energy on our traditional intertribal/caste hatreds and fail to see the very real disaster that is facing us all. We are all in the same boat and it is a ship of fools!

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  9. Well, i got this web address from this site savenepalnow.org. Visit this site guys. It is not that bad. May be some improvements are required but decent articles

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  10. If I were Mr. Aryal I would not have shown my face in front of people and media talking about the interim constitution. What is the use of this constitution where there is no conclusion (half boiled potato which cannot be eat), and left to the SPA and Maoist. It might be better if SPA and maoist had sit together and draft the interim constituion for full fledge.

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  11. clearly this is a result of lack of proper homework. eight sides coming to a point needs a much superior effort than what we have seen until now.

    Like

  12. How about Maoist going for their Oct, revolution. Now, it is quite evident that they have no option left. SPA may be thinking they can out do Maoist by their protracted negotiation bit but loser is no other than SPA-they gonna get from Maoist as well as from the people. It goes to prove when you ally with hands that is soiled with blood, you cannot wish it way. The biggest hit will be on SPA, no doubt.

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  13. Calm down a bhattarai! Royalist can go to hell but the Maoist will have to go with them.

    Anyone ever notice how the maoist leader and his vice seems well dressed and look healthy? They dont work so where do they get the nice clothes and the good food? By stealing from the same people they say they are fighting for!

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