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.