Hello World, Maoists In Nepal Have Entered Parliament!

11.34 PM Home Minister Krishna Prasad Sitaula is tabling the interim constitution 2063 for the approval of the house. 11.34 PM Home Minister Krishna Prasad Sitaula is tabling the interim constitution 2063 for the approval of the house. Honestly, the great Bal Bahadur Rai is doing favolous job. It’s almost mid night and 80 plus year old octogenarian leader is reading the procedure paper finely. He just declared the approval of the constitution after no one voted against it. The meeting is now announced adjourned till tomorrow. Tomorrow is declared a public holiday.

11:14 PM Unbelievable it might seem Maoist spokesperson Krishna Bahadur Mahara who is leading the Maoist party in the interim parliament, is on the rostrum. He said, “With the promulgation of the interim constitution, the beginning of an end of monarchy in Nepal has begun. It’s a declaration of republicanism in Nepal.” Maoist chairman Prachanda, with his deputy Dr. Bhattarai on his side, is listening. Mahara is the first speaker in the first meeting of the interim parliament after the members took oath from elder member Bal Bahadur Rai. Mahara said: “We have vowed from today that we will finish the progressive restructuring of the state of Nepal and its economic and social transformation in united manner. We will begin that from politically transforming it via the election of the constituent assembly. Let’s make it (interim parliament) a forum for constructing, meaningful and result orient debate… It is necessary we develop habit of working and moving together while engaging in fair competition.”

maoist and other members of parliament taking oath

9:25 PM A historic and appealing scene is being witnessed in Nepal. Member of interim parliament, including Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala, are jointly taking oath from the eldest member Bal Bahadur Rai. Maoist chairman Prachanda and his deputy Dr. Baburam Bhattarai are on the visitors’ gallery inside the parliament house to witness the proceedings.

[A blog to express happiness]

January 15, 2007

Hello World, (the Capitalist World, the Anti-Capitalist world, the Bourgeois World, the Proletariat World, the Anti- Proletariat World and all other Worlds in between!)

Maoist insurgents, without guns and grenades, have entered inside the legislature building

Dear all,

Putting behind their weapons in UN monitored cantonment sites (the process has started today) Maoists in Nepal have entered inside the parliament building in Kathmandu to attend the first meeting of the interim legislature. Less than an hour ago, people of Nepal via their representatives, promulgated a brand new interim constitution for the first time in the history. The interim legislature came into effect along with the interim constitution. Clad in brown jackets, 73+10 Maoist appointed members of the interim legislature were waiting outside the parliament building for formalities to get inside. Those who were fighting a violent war against the state of Nepal until a few months ago are now inside the parliament building. Yes, violent guerillas are now members of parliament. Today marks the beginning of a NEW ERA in Nepal that is bright and peaceful.

Signing off
A Nepali blogger in a merry mood 🙂

This Is How Maoists Entered Parliament

By Bishnu Budhathoki

Kathmandu- The road to parliamentary democracy, for those living with guns and bullets for over a decade, can indeed be unusual. While preparing to enter the parliament building in Singha Durbar on Monday, the Maoists too faced a number of hurdles, that would appear funny to others.

* Maoist Chairman Prachanda, who probably had never entered the Singha Durbar premises before the peace process started post-April 2006, didn’t know where the parliament building was located. When Home Minister Krishna Sitaula reached the Parliamentary Party Office (PPO) of the CPN-Maoist, which is just a stones-throw away from the main parliament building, to call Prachanda and his deputy Dr. Baburam Bhattarai for a meeting with the Prime Minister at the latter’s Chamber in the Parliament building, Prachanda looked visibly lost. “Sitaula ji, where is (PM’s chamber located) and how can we get there?” Prachanda asked. Then, Sitaula led the duo to the PM’s Chamber where they held a two-hour long meeting, (regarding how parliament business is run) with PM Girija Prasad Koirala and other leaders of the seven-party alliance.

* At around 6:30 pm, after coming out from the Chamber, Prachanda and Bhattarai asked the PM’s security guards about where their own guards vanished, as they couldn’t spot them around. Dr. Bhattarai thought ringing their cell phones would help. As cellphone connections have been blocked inside the parliament building, his efforts proved futile. Furious, the engineer-turned-politician sought help from the PM’s guards. One of them went to the PPO and returned with Maoist spokesperson Krishna Bahadur Mahara, who later led them to their office. After reaching the office, both Prachanda and Bhattarai, rebuked their security guards and asked, “Why didn’t you stay outside the Chamber?” In reply, Maoist guards said, “The security personnel of the establishment scolded us and stopped us outside the parliament.”

* At around 3:00 p.m., 73 Maoist representatives for MPs, including some of their supporters, entered Singha Durbar in a bus. Ten other non-Maoists, picked by Maoists for MPs, had already reached there at 2:00 p.m. After Hishila Yami distributed gray coats to most of the 73 representing her party in the interim legislature, she turned to the 10 “independents” staying in a separate room and said, “You ten members are free to wear or not to wear [these] coats.” Then, she approached retired Major-General Kumar Phodung (formerly of the then Royal Nepali Army) and said, “You represent the old establishment who is entering into a new system.” After Hishila retreated, Phodung expressed his displeasure at her statement with other nine members. “It is still hard to understand them.”

* According to Maoist leader Barsha Man Pun aka “Ananta”, Narayan Prasad Sharma, 78, from Dang is the oldest member in the interim legislature from the Maoists. He also added that the youngest was 25 years old. Seeing the young women lawmakers, a male MP of the dissolved House of Representatives quipped, “Seems like we will fall in love.”

* When it was time for the comrades to move to the main parliament building, an official with the Parliament Secretariat arrived at the Maoists’ office and led the soon-to-be lawmakers of the Maoists to the House. It was former Prime Minister and Chairman of Rastriya Janashakti Party, Surya Bahadur Thapa, who greeted the Maoist team led by Mahara before anyone else could do.

And, this was how the Maoists entered into the building from where they were declared terrorists for the first time in November 2001.

It Was ‘Grey Coat’ Day For Maoist Lawmakers

By Lekhnath Pant and Baburam Kharel

Lalitpur- It was 2:00 pm. Parliament session had already begun. But there was fast movement of people at the central office of Maoists in Kupondole. Some were visibly anxious and craning their necks to get a glimpse of something. Right at the moment, a taxi arrived. Some of them rushed toward the taxi, took away some grey coats and entered a room. They were the newly nominated parliamentarians of CPN-Maoists who were waiting for grey coats, a ‘dress code’, prepared by Maoists for their lawmakers. After about an hour, 41 Maoist lawmakers came out of the room in grey coats.

However, Maoist Central leader Matrika Yadav was in his own attire, representing the Madhesi community. “I am entering parliament in my own dress. I don’t think dress code is suitable at a time when we are entering another war of equality,” he said. Interestingly, the Maoist party had ordered Tip-Top Wear at Bagbazaar yesterday to prepare 67 grey coats for their lawmakers. The tailor, due to short notice, could prepare only 41.

A worker at Tip-Top, preferring anonymity, said they had to work on a tight-schedule to fulfill the Maoist order. “We couldn’t prepare all 67 grey coats because of power cut at night,” he said. 83 Maoist lawmakers represent their party in the interim parliament. Dharmashila Chapagai, a Maoist parliamentarian said their party had already decided to enforce dress code for them in the interim parliament. “The party wanted uniformity among its parliamentarians in the interim parliament,” she said.

Yadav, who looked visibly happy about entering parliament in the evening said, “Our party will give much priority to constituent assembly polls.” Asked, why Maoist leaders not only enforce dress code but also seem to be living a luxurious life, he said his party leaders have been using cars and planes not for luxury but because they were the needs of the moment. As Maoist lawmakers were preparing to head toward parliament in the evening, Lekharaj Bhatta, another Maoist lawmaker in grey coat, was standing alone outside the central office. “As it was difficult for me to recognize all my lawmakers, the dress code has helped me alot,” he said.

Hishila Yami, another Maoist lawmaker in grey coat was busy talking to foreign journalists. “It’s a new practice and we are committed to introduce ourselves through our good deeds,” she was greeting some foreign journalists at the office. Another Maoist lawmaker on his cell phone, was busy telephoning security personnel stationed at Singha Durbar where the parliament building is located. He was saying, “There will be three big buses, two motorcycles and eight to nine private cars entering Singha Durbar.” He was making sure Maoist vehicles would get access through security check at Singha Durbar.

Finally, all Maoist lawmakers, only 41 in grey coats, headed toward Singha Durbar in the evening.

Nepal in Transition: Interim Constitution, Interim Parliament and Maoists in House

8:22 PM The House that was restored by the peoples’ movement in April has been, as speaker Subas Nemwang declared, automatically dissolved. The first meeting of interim legislature will be held in a few minutes. [Nostalgia: People’s Power]

7:46 PM The parliament votes YES (185) vs NO (0) to approve Prime Minister’s proposal of “Lets promulgate the interim constitution.” The constitution is formally promulgated. [Highlights: Interim Constitution of Nepal 2063]

7:00 PM The parliament unanimously approves Interim Constitution 2063. The meeting of the house rejected all amendment proposals by majority YES votes and a few amendments, including that of CPN UML, were taken back.

1:55 PM Hurray!!! Nepal is about to have a New Constitution!! Interim Constitution. Clap, clap, clap!! No HUNNA (NO) vote in the parliament against the constitution. The House approved the constitution for further discussions with the HUNCHHA (YES) vote.

Nepal is creating yet another history in a few hours time when the restored parliament promulgates an interim constitution, nullifies the one issued in 1990 and declares itself dissolved. A new interim legislature will immediately replace the existing legislature. In yet another historical move, 83 members of Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) will enter inside the parliament house today as the members of the interim legislature. [The existing parliament was restored in April by the historical peoples’ movement.] Members of various parties in the (old and existing) parliament are already saying that today will herald a new beginning of the process of making a new Nepal, a democratic republic of Nepal. The interim constitution significantly reduces king’s role in the state of affairs and empowers people of Nepal like never before. The main objective of the interim house and interim constitution will be to hold the election of constituent assembly on time (by mid June).

9:25: Law minister, on behalf of Prime Minister, has jsut tabled the Interim Constitution for the discussion in the house. Nepali Congress MP Sushil Koirala is on the rostrum. This bearded politician’s speech is not much exciting.

CPN-UML‘s Bharat Mohan Adhikary presented his party’s stand that the interim constitution should be amended. Stating that a provision for referendum should be included in the Interim statute to decide the fate of Monarchy, Adhikary also demanded a proportional electoral system instead of the mixed system as mentioned in the soon-to-be promulgated statute. Stating that there were no laws as of yet to punish those identified as guilty by the Rayamajhi commission in the heavy handed suppression of the April pro democracy movement, Adhikary appealed for the inclusion of a new provision to this end in the interim constitution. Furthermore, the UML leader also urged for a provision to have the serving Prime Minister removed — if need be – adding that the present constitution could very well render the PM an all powerful dictator.

Likewise, Rastriya Prajantra Party (RPP) president Pashupati Shamshere Rana expressed concerns said that the interim statute was being promulgated without following any parliamentary norms. Rana said that the interim constitution, which is the nation’s governing body of rules, was being promulgated in haste without any regards for the existing parliamentary norms. “The opinion that the interim constitution should be amended prior to its promulgation is gaining strength,” Rana opined, adding that all quarters of society including the media, professional organizations, bar associations are all of one voice regarding the amendments. The RPP chairman further said that the interim constitution had “neglected” the women, nationalities, muslims, jajajatis and other marginalized groups. Rana also warned that the RPP would boycott the house if the amendment proposal is not heeded. “The soon-to-be promulgated interim constitution has rendered the parliament merely a rubber stamp,” Rana said.

Likewise, MP Chitra Bahadur KC of a faction of Jana Morcha Nepal said that the decision to make the serving Prime Minister was in violation of the universal notion of separation of Power, adding that the interim statute had served only to establish what he called an “eight party monopoly”.

Hmm, Lilamani Pokharel of Janamorcha (whose Amik Serchan is the deputy prime minister in the cabinet) is talking some sense in the parliament right now. He says it’s understandable that parties not represented in Seven Party Alliance (SPA) are expressing their dissatisfaction with the interim constitution but it’s shameful for the SPA members to disagree with the contents of the interim constitution in the ongoing last meeting of the parliament since they agreed for the same in the summit meeting between SPA and the Maoist. “Some are saying this sovereign house should be able to amend the interim constitution. Do you know how this sovereign house came into existence? The interim constitution is an agreement between the SPA and the Maoist in their attempt to resolve the conflict peacefully. That is why this house can’t amend the interim constitution.”

As I am typing these lines, the parliament session has kicked off for the last time and chairman of public accounting committee is presenting the 14th report. This is exciting moment. What did the restored parliament do in its special and historical term? The most important point is that it issued a never seen before kind of declaration in May that made people of Nepal sovereign in true sense for the first time in the nation’s history. It passed several acts including army act that has made the army accountable to the people.