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.

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17 thoughts on “Nepal in Transition: Interim Constitution, Interim Parliament and Maoists in House”

  1. yeah it is quite historic of a people’s revolution that the result is a parliament without an opposition for god know how long– 2 years? 3 years? 4 years? It is all fine that SPA-M have put their heads together to come to this juncture which does give some hope to the people of Nepal– but until a time when democratically elected parliamentarians who are accountable to the people are voted into the office, we have to find a way to control these “tikay” parliamentarians– else they will contue to go on rampage to loot this nation– by the use of gun or otherwise…. because the interim constitution gives them the absolute right to do so and get away with it… last night, ceremonial Babu Ram was saying that in this interim period, tehy will not push much for their social agenda– he failed to explain the people that this interim period can last anything between a year and 5 years… because for this to end, we need to successfully elect a constituent assembly, draft a new constitution, get the new constitution to pass, have elections under the new consitution, dissolve this current parliament and then have newly elected government to take over… until then, these “tikey” and bloated parliamentarians will be in-charge!!

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  2. DRAMA IN THE HOUSE

    Neither the interim constitution can be changed nor it can hold for few days for discussion. SPAM is criticising its own signed agreed document.. isn’t it the dram in front of people…??????Anyway its a historic…

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  3. How can there be no opposition in a democracy? Only in China, Cuba, North Korea are there no oppositions. This arrangement is not going to last for long. I am sure about this. The Prime Minister cannot be changed, the judiciary is not independent, what is this? Isn’t Ms. Lena Sundh listening? Where is Mr. Ian Martin? Is Moriarty back from the holidays? Who is the new British Ambassador? Where are the Swiss, the Danish, Finnish and the UNDP people? These were the ones shouting and yelling when the April movement was being crushed by the royal govt. But now, we don’t even have a right to say “I don’t like the SPA led government.” If I am not part of the SPA-M alliance I have no right to be the Prime Minister because the interim constitution says only the SPA will select the Prime Minister. Not even in Adolf Hitler’s Nazi Germany was this clause prevalent.
    Wow! Welcome to a new and dazzling Cuba guys. Just wait till GPK passes away and then Prachanda will be a very effective and robust Fidel Castro of South Asia.

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  4. Its simple…if you make others wrong then u’re right…that seems to be the only goal of all the friggin leaders…i’m gettin bored n tired of this shit

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  5. Sushil Babu,

    Who told you there is democracy in Nepal? Can’t you see Gyanendra and this family still inside Narayanhitti? There will be no democracy in Nepal until monarchy is there inside the palace.

    After we get rid of monarchy, there will be true democracy and you will see opposition. Don’t worry now. That will happen after the successful election of the constituent assembly.

    You can describe present situation in Nepal as transitional, not democratic for sure. We are going into that direction, democratic direction.

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  6. Ratnapark,

    If you call it democracy, then we have to identify the real word of democracy. This democracy is just for SPA(+M) only, not to anyone. All people involved in Janaandolan are not directly belong to SPAM, please try to find out. The only thing SPAM has not introduced in this interim constitution is those who are not SPAM cannot take part in CA election. Also, they have introduced not to questions the PM and Ms’ decision. They might be imprisoned if they raise the voice, isn’t it the democracy norms?? Similarly judiciary is in the hand of the parliament means united SPAM or more on GPK and Prachanda. Isn’t it the syndicate system???Maybe you have seen this kind of democracy in other world, but not us. Only accepting point is, this is critical situation and in this kind of situation dicatorship might be necessary. So, we called it dictatorship of SPAM for the implementation of the peace only… not democracy.

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  7. Sagarmatha kaji,

    I haven’t called “it” a democracy. It’s called transition. Transition from a sankaha king’s autocratic rule, from conflict to democratic rules and peaceful times.

    Even in democracy, how can you give an opportunity to have voice to all 26 million people (except in electoral process towards which we are heading)? So it’s about peoples’ representatives deciding on key issues. And representatives are always a handful of folks. So don’t just complain about SPAM leaders deciding on everything. Where were you and what where you doing when Gyanendra Bahadur Shah was handling everything highhandedly sidelining peoples’ representatives?

    Anyway, let me assure you that its not syndicate system but democracy works like this. At least we can raise our voices and they are bound to hear this. Election is coming and, I guarantee, as a citizen of this nation you will feel more powerful.

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  8. Ratnaparkji,

    “So it’s about peoples’ representatives deciding on key issues”

    “Say like this it’s about SPAM representatives deciding on key issues”

    Because today new interim constitution is introducing wheras half of the Nepal is bandh and almost half the population is raising the voices against it. How come you say its peoples representation of 26 million? Remove your hangover of Gyanendra Bahadur Shah from your mind, crying and blaming the dead horse to fight with future enemy gives no logic in war and even in the politics. Prachanda might be god for you but not for us. But we say all three SPA, king and maoist are to be blamed for this disaster and killings of 14,000 people. Future path is more serious than today where you might have no one left to be blamed except your version of saying people represntatitves.

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  9. What is the reason for Bandh? I know people these days in Nepal holding Bandh for petty reason (in national level) or is it another bandh organized by criminals of Bihar who have ran away from India after committing crime there and were hiding in Nepal – now to demand their own separate state where they can do whatever the shit they want to do? I am sick of these people having Bandh every day. Given that govt. is issuing citizenship to all the genuine people. And there is going to election soon to represent these people; representatives going to have unlimited power to modify the current structure to suit there demand. Why they are doing all these nonsense if they are simply not working for semi-dead king Gyanendra. All these people who are holding Bandh are no other people than the part of the royal underground movement. let us all boycott them.

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  10. Stalin has been reborn in Nepal! Can you see a similarity in the appearnce of our Prachanda and Marshal Joseph Stalin? Just put a fore edge cap on his head – then you will notice what I have. The name “Prachanda” ought to ring a familiar bell in our heads; do the words “Shining Path” have any similarity to our “Prachanda” in the Nepalese langauage? Come on you scholars give your views. Congratulations. You will definitely enjoy many Gulagarchepeligos and experience what it is to be sovereign in the near future. Cheers!

    The Terai Janatantrik Mukti Morcha is now demanding a totally independent Terai State. Beware, onece the Terai goes up in flames, no power within Nepal can douse it.

    The SPA and the Maoists are already starting to fight over the post of the Speaker of the NEW HOUSE. Not a good sign of events to follow. I hope I am wrong.

    When a society cannot manage change we see what happens as is happening in present day Nepal. The concept of the nation state is loosing the value it once held and the European nations adopted the concept of adopting policies which would benefit the people by “uniting”; we on the other hand have chosen to empower the people by adopting a policy of “dividing” and withdrawing to a “tribal based” sense of security.
    I just hope that our political masters have the wisdom and moral courage of conviction to check this disasterous slide to total disintegration of the nation state of Nepal.

    Deva

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  11. Yes, it is a very historic day in Nepal and for Nepali people. all must be pleased with this development in the country except the few coterie of king. I have also congratulated you all in my blog. U can read there clicking on my name from here.
    Let’s say New Nepal is possible!!!

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  12. On a Historic Day the Federal Democratic Republic on the Horizon

    Ratification of the Interim Constitution under the Interim Legislature glorified the history of the people’s movement II. It is the sixth constitution of Nepal that was promulgated by the instated House of Representatives with the mandate of the people’s movement II.

    The principle objective of the interim constitution is to successfully accomplish the elections of the constituent assembly. This is our national cause that must be addressed to establish inclusive democratic system of governance with the draft of the new constitution. Since the interim constitution is a temporary constitution it is prone to have numerous flows that need scrupulous amendments through the Interim Parliament hearings.

    It is true the Interim Constitution has failed to pave the way for the Federal Democratic government system that can most probably address the diverse ethnic socio-political issues of the nation. The demand for the autonomous governance statue will rise from the suppressed ethnic population under the feudal oligarchic establishment. Such stipulations are natural and are elements of the civil rights. Why should they be controlled and ruled by the centrally controlled system of government after all that suffering at the end of the successful people’s movement II?

    The draft of the interim constitution has failed to address this issue. Rather it has adapted several feudal oligarchic provisions that are antithesis to the primary principles of the electoral democracy that can only be sustained in the Federal Democratic government system. Perhaps the law and constitutional experts have not either understood the premises of the electoral democracy or they are not yet fully committed to it due to their feudal oligarchic mindsets. It could be true with the leaderships of the SPAM. If not why have they failed to draft in the Interim Constitution the provision of the Parliamentary hearing as mandatory procedure for all constitutional amendments, appointments, legislations, financial budgets, and so on that must seek the approval of the representatives of the people of Nepal.

    Now the Interim Legislature must get their act together to address the ground reality of the nation. For example, the MPRF has claimed that the Interim Constitution has ignored the issue of federal democratic government system that can address the questions of the marginalized groups of people like Madheshi regarding their self-governance to manage their own resources, their equal representation in the legislature and provision of the regional autonomy. Again the primary objective of the democracy is to protect the civil rights of marginalized people from the privileged groups. This is the ground reality of Nepal inherited from the feudal oligarchic establishment.

    JTMM may be the extreme example of such a rebellion against the lack of constitutional provisions in the interim constitution. The lack of vision of the constitutional experts, ruling elites and political leaderships who rushed to draft the interim constitution is responsible for ignoring these issues. Either deliberately or lack of understanding they have put aside the suggestions presented on these issue to consider the constitutional structure with the federal democratic government system.

    It was clear to the people that these privileged ruling elites and experts will not adopt such system. If they did then they will jeopardize their privileges for easy appointments to the post of judges, chief district officers, attorneys, police officers, secretariats, diplomats and so on through the nepotism and favoritism of the party leadership. Such legacy of privileged elites what people wish to abolish and it is only possible through the establishment of the Federal Democratic Republic.

    Now is the question of the Maoists who fought the civil war against the feudal oligarchic establishment – where are they now and what is their position on the federal democratic government system establishment? Will their leaderships and cadres trust the people’s ability to manage their villages, cities, and districts on their own with the electoral democratic process?

    Under the Federal Democratic government system the individual who wish to be elected as the governor or judge or attorney or law enforcement officer must be the permanent citizen of that region or constituent or district. A permanent resident of Dhankuta cannot file the candidacy in the Madheshi region. The residents of the region are elected to form the assembly of the region, regional cabinet under the elected governor, perform the judiciary and law enforcement under the provision of the constitution of the nation.

    Under the Federal Democratic government system all the basic regional government responsibilities are accomplished by the positions fulfilled through the electoral procedures per term of the position. Governors, judges, attorneys and law enforcement officers are elected for four to six year’s term by the votes of the people of the region. In order to regain the position the candidate must perform his or her duty well.

    Therefore, if the Maoist leaderships advocate democratic republic then they must define what kind of Democratic Republic they really mean. There is a centrally controlled democratic republic and there is decentralized democratic republic. The federal democratic republic is a decentralized democratic republic government system.

    On the primary premise of Democracy in which it sustains is the protection of the civil rights of the people who are marginalized by the privileged group of people for example women marginalized by men, the federal system of democracy plays most progressive role. This means women in each region of the nation will participate in the political process through the electoral process with the votes of the people of that constituent.

    Now it is the time to address this issue of the regional autonomy in the Interim Constitution through the provisions of the amendments. The interim constitution must draw the guideline for establishing federal democratic government system in drafting new constitution after the accomplishment of the elections of the constituent assembly.

    The political leadership must take this issue seriously and try to understand how federal democratic system works. Unless and until political leaderships understand the need to address this issue through federal democratic establishment there will be no change in the attitudes of the ruling elites and experts in the government and society. The provisions in the new constitution for the establishment of the federal democratic system will alter the mindset of the feudal oligarchic values in the government, politics and society.

    Prakash Bom
    New York

    [UWB posted this comment on behalf of Prakash Bom]

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