Constituent Assembly in Nepal

Counter Punch: Election for the Constituent Assembly is totally wasteful exercise of the government. What SPA government needs to do is to hold election for all of the members of the House as early as possible.

By Shree Shrestha in Madison, Wisconsin
UWB received this article in email [Articles are welcome!]

It looks like Seven Party Alliance (SPA) government under Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala decided to have election for Constituent Assembly. According to the news story Constituent Assembly will have 425 members. Only 205 members out of 425 will be elected by the people. Since they do not trust the people that they will elect right kind of representatives 204 members will be nominated by the political parties and 16 members will be nominated by the Prime Minister. The Constituent Assembly will also function as the legislature for about two years until full fledged parliamentary elections takes place.

On the top of that there will be interim legislative body consisting of 300 members. In this legislative body there will be 73 members from Nepali Congress (G), 40 members from Nepali Congress (D), 68 members from Communist Party (UML), 95 members from Communist Party (Maoist), 12 members from Rastriya Prajatantra Party including Rastriya Janashakti Party, 5 members from Sadbhawana Party, 1 member from Majdoor Kisan Party, 6 from Janamorcha Nepal.

Since the make up of the interim legislative body has been decided why they are talking about Constituent Assembly of elected and nominated members? Since Constituent Assembly will function as legislative body for about two years why do we need another legislative body comprising of SPAs and Maoists? Why don’t we elect 205 members directly by the people for Constituent Assembly? Why don’t we just add Maoist Representatives to the present House of Representatives?

Election for the Constituent Assembly is totally wasteful exercise of the government. What SPA government needs to do is to hold election for all of the members of the House as early as possible. Representation in the House should be 1 Representative per 100,000 people. So that the House look like Nepal it is necessary to draw electoral map in such a way that various ethnic group like Magar, Tharu, Tamang, Newar, Rai, Gurung, Limbu, Sherpa and others will be in distinct electoral map. This way Magar, Tharu, Tamang, Newar, Rai, Gurung, Limbu, Sherpa and others will be able to elect their own representative to the House. It may not be possible to draw electoral map to include 100,000 people of distinct ethnic groups in each and every district. But in many districts it will be easy tasks. It does not mean that we are uprooting certain ethnic groups to different areas to make up the distinct electoral maps. Local politicians will be able to figure out very easily.

The tenure of the members of the House of Representatives should be limited to three terms of two years. And it should be stated in the Constitution that the House and the National Assembly will never be dissolved under any circumstances.

As proposed in the interim constitution Nepal will be divided into 9 Federal Regions: Kirat, Madhesh, Tamang, Newar, Tamuwan, Magarat, Tharuwan, Bheri-Karnali and Seti Mahakali. Down the road this will be more headache than progress of the country. It will be the best to keep the present 14 administrative zone and 75 districts as is. But there should be provision for local parliament in each and every district. We are talking about decentralization of the power since 1950 but it has never been implemented in true sense. If and when each and every Chief District Officers will be elected rather than appointed by the Ministry in Kathmandu by the people of the respective districts we have decentralized the power from Capital to Districts in true sense.

According to the 1990 Constitution, National Assembly does not have much authority. And in the proposed interim constitution there is no mention about the National assembly. This has to be changed to powerful Upper Parliament. None of the Bills will be Law until passed by the National Assembly and signed by the Prime Minister. From the present provision of sixty members it needs to be changed to 75 members representing 75 districts of Nepal. All of the 75 members should be elected directly by the people from the respective districts. There should not be any nominated members in the National Assembly. The tenure of office of the members of the National Assembly should remain for one term of six years only.

In the present context, it is not a good idea as proposed in the interim constitution that the Prime Minister will be the leader of the political party which gained majority in the election. To honor the aspirations of the people we need to state in the Constitution that the people will directly elect the Prime Minister of the country. The Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister, Ministers and Assistant Ministers should not be the members of the National Assembly or the House. The Constitution should be clear in how many Ministries will be there in Nepal. Accordingly, there will be Ministers for various Ministries. This way the number of Cabinet Members will be fixed. We also need to impose the term limit of one term of six years on the Prime Minister.

With the system of Prime Minister elected by general public in place we will have smooth transition of power if and when the King is abdicated. Simply put when the King is gone Prime Minister will be the President of the Republic of Nepal.

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20 thoughts on “Constituent Assembly in Nepal”

  1. This is the government of SPA+M. Those who talks against them are not democratic. So people obey whatever they decide….

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  2. I see a lot of NRN’s storming this blog. With Mahara at an NRN conference in Europe one wonders how much punch NRN’s have for RN’s here? Hope Mahara learns there is more to the world than little red books!!!

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  3. I agree with much of the writers comments. All issues can be easily decided after a general election. If monarchy is still a major issue then a separate or alongside the elections referendum can be held. Other issues do not call for CA. I think all parties agree and the people too that the constitution needs additions, deletions and improvements, so if everyone agrees, have an election and do it. Most Nepalis are just beginning to understand elections let’s not confuse everyone more with CA. More than half the population still don’t know what it is exactly. It’s a waste of time and most certainly a waste of resources. So Prachanda hand in your arms and let’s go comrade.

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  4. Much of the arguments put forth by the writer of this article are mere crap. I wonder how Wagle considered it worthy of publishing it as an ‘article’.

    Nepal needs constituent assembly not to form a legislative body or to give some seats to the Maoists. Constituent assembly is the way in which people participate in a process of restructuring the state. This process respects people’s right to make a decision about the structure of their own state, which eventually creates ownership of people for the future political structure. I am sure this writer is no better than a dv migrant working somewhere in downtown Madison as a babysitter as his lack of knowledge on political affairs is rampant in his ‘article’.

    Secondly, the division of 205 constituencies is not scientific. It is an obstacle to inclusivity and proportional representation of all diverse socio-cultural groups of Nepal. Argument in favor of holding ‘direct’ election is another product of a moron mind.

    Finally, I feel offended by uwb which has posted this pathetic article in its blog for all those readers who are many times more intelligent than I am.

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  5. I totally agree with Shree’s views, mainly that the head of the state should be elected by the people. A impoverished nation like Nepal can not afford to have new prime minister every six months or so. Political stability is the most important ingredient for any nation’s prosperity. When the day comes when the Nepalis can directly vote for their prime minister, I will be the first to say good bye to foreign land and return Nepal, just to vote.

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  6. “Why don’t we elect 205 members directly by the people for Constituent Assembly? Why don’t we just add Maoist Representatives to the present House of Representatives?”

    This guy, I am sure, is a moron.

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  7. I don’t agree that we should only have the elections to the House of Representatives. Even if it is wasteful axercise, in any body’s views, CA has been the long standing wish of the Nepalese people since 2007 BS.So we should not deny this opportunity and also finalise the isuue of Monarchy. King Gyanandra is the symbol of downfall of Monarchy. He is personally responsible to pull down the Monarchy.The elections of the CA is the must. One thing I can understand is that Why Girija does not appoint any body in the National Human Rghts Commission ?

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  8. UWB

    Many, many thanks for bringing our American Apravasis(non-resident American Nepalese) in this blog to baptize us in democracy! At least, the visit of Dinesh Wagle to America must have some asset value. Why not call a bid for this blog among non-resident American Nepalese for better articles and management?

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  9. i agree with sanjeev. this article is totally crap. no substance at all. it seems the author doesn’t have any idea about nepal’s politics. its not the technicalities, you see. its far beyond your comperehension it seems for you seem to have only cursorily read the news reports.

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  10. Hello Friends,

    Will the terrorists be killed? Will the corrupt politicians be punished? I don’t know what is happening in Nepal. I want to see peace and prosperity.

    Jaya Nepal!

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  11. Terrorists will not be killed. Corrupt politicians will not be punished.You will not see peace and prosperity in Nepal for another 20 years.

    Don’t be frustrated because we have leaders like Girija who will take you to Taplejung where there was an accident of Helicopter.We will die by hitting that mountain like gopal rai. We have very bright future.Don(t worry; We have taken six moths for home work and it will take another six months for practical.

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  12. The Maoists are totally out of control. They have disrupted a congress rally and abducted party workers! I think we are going to see another military confrontation with the Maoists!

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  13. Bhudai,

    I am not sure about your conjecture. However, I share with you a strong disagreement about the Maoists’ activities. I feel that a group, any group driven by an outdated and failed political ideology like Marxism and/or Maoism is a mass of idiots which is capable of doing anything it likes. Prachanda’s claim that his guerrillas are under his control is a farce. His guerrillas are uneducated and uncivilized idiots who are drugged by the pseudo-leaders about equality and emancipation. This country is gradually becoming an international headquarter of mindless people. Yesterday’s demonstration of the Maoists (of the hotel and restaurant workers) clearly illustrates this.

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  14. I also agree with Prof. Pyare, there won’t be peace atleast for 20 years. We will be considered as the world’s idiot people supporting failed ideology of the world.

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  15. It is a sad destiny of Nepal that we have a leader like Girija. He is like Ganesh who made the round of Shiva Parvati as he is doing with the present Monarchy. He is surrounded by Nona Bhauju and her sons and his daughter Sujata.Budho Girija is always sick and these people who are surrounding him doing everyday business of the country. All congressis, they think Girija is God who is the only savior of all the Nepalese. This is the sick mentality of the Congressis.Unless and untill, we have very decisive leader who can make bold decisions and can go forward, we all Nepalese will remain in the 19th century situation where King and Ranas will always have a big role. Thats why Pashupatibhakta comes to Baluwatar to see Girija very often. Girija also goes to Narayanhity clandestinely without informing the public.

    From the above, it is clear that, no murderer will go to jail, no corrupt will be punished and no terroist will be killed. It is the destiny of the people of Nepal.At least my generation of people will die only hoping that peace will come to Nepal. Asha Ashai ma Maran Hune bho. So I ask people: don’t trust Girija that much because he has already deceived us not only one or two times, but FOUR times.

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  16. i can’t agree with Mr. Pyare……..
    In such transition state, we should not analyse in that way my fren…….Ya it is true Talukhuile is sorrounded by damn consultant, but he is the only way to go there in this condition, we have to look for the solution from present condition, not from tomorrow. Ya after Girja or Makune….there will be another Jhallu…..may be …..what is sure that the coming leader after 20 yrs is perfect. Dreaming to future and living and thinking poor is not good idea. We have to live in present, and hope for the best…..and prepare for the wrost. Yes, Girija, Makune, Oli, Gautam, Deuba, Sitaula can solve…….they have to solve….because they have arose or promoted the problem.

    But, Nirdhakka hune bela chai chhaina………from our own place we have to continue our duty……Khabardar………”Khabardar”…….We have to tell people who don’t know or pretending expert…

    CA or referendum……what else……..no matter we want peace…. Who is silly…..girja or makune….time will show……..

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  17. This blog is becoming outdated. All articles lead to the same hopeless and discouraging conclusions. On second thoughts, I guess one cant do much when thats all there to write about.

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