Nepal is Declared a Republic!!!

The proposal to declare Nepal a republic is passed by 560 vs 4 votes. [Here is the minute by minute account of the first meeting of the CA.]

Remove former king and his secretariat from the Narayanhitti palace within 15 days; the CA meeting directs the government.

The 240-year-old institution of monarchy is formally abolished in Nepal.

The first meeting of the Constituent Assembly, which was elected by the people of Nepal on 10 April, declared Nepal a republic a few seconds ago. In fact, the CA meeting implemented the constitutional provision that already declared Nepal a republic but gave the power to implement that decision to the first meeting of the CA.

Here is an excerpt from out post on 29 December 2007:

The Interim Parliament yesterday (28 Dec) passed a third amendment to the Interim Constitution, stating that Nepal would become a federal democratic republic after the Constituent Assembly poll. Parliament amended Article 159 of the constitution. The amendment reads: “Nepal will be a federal democratic republic.” The amendment also says the decision would be enforced by the first meeting of the Constituent Assembly.” The amendment provides for parliament, through a two-third majority, to abolish the monarchy before the CA poll if the government is convinced that the king is conspiring against the poll. The amendment also formally transfers the position of head of state to the prime minister. (Here is more.)

People who are already on the streets to celebrate the declaration of the republic from the morning are chanting slogans welcoming the decision of the CA.

Earlier in the day, before coming at the International Convention Center in New Baneshwor, top leaders of the big three parties also agreed on the rights and privileges of the President and the Vice President. Continue reading Nepal is Declared a Republic!!!

Historic Session of Constituent Assembly Begins in Nepal

Now (23:32), K B Gurung convenes another meeting of the CA tomorrow at 11 AM. The first meeting is over.

Now (23:25), K B Gurung declares the proposal passed. He also tables a proposal to direct the government to remove the former king and his secretariat withing 15 days. This proposal is passed by the majority of voice vote.

Now (23:23), The result. Total present 564. For YES 560. For NO 4.

Now (23:20), Prakash Chandra Lohani of RPP is speaking. Republic is not the destination, it is the means. Destination is the preserving of the national integrity, sovereignty, rejection of any type of dictatorship, democratic norms, liberating Nepalis from poverty.

Now (23:18), Chitra Bahadur KC is speaking. He says his party Rastriya Janamorcha differs with the federal provision that is stated in the proposal.

Now (23:15), KB Gurung says the time is finished. Some members hoot.

Now (23:10), Chandra Bdr Gurung of RPP Nepal, the same man who started raising objections from the beginning, is now speaking after the permission from KB Gurung. He says the country has entered into the gate of change. The beauty of democracy is that it lets people put note of dissent. RPP Nepal want to register a note of dissent, he says. He says our view will be ineffective as the remote control culture is being propagated instead of listening to one’s own voice. He is also praising the monarchy saying it defended Nepali nationalism.

Now (23:10), KB Gurung, the chair of the Assembly, is declaring the result. IT’S FOR YES. FOR NO.

Now (23:09), no one is seen trying to correct their vote. KB Gurung orders to open the gates. KB Gurung gives two minutes time to Prateebha Rana to put her views. She is from RPP. Her daughter Arjoo Rana Deuba is a member of CA from Nepali Congress. Prateebha says she wants to say something regarding Nepal being declared the secularism.

Now (23:06), KB Gurung gives three minutes to those who want to correct their votes. It seems no one is willing to correct.

Now (22:48), Sagarmatha TV is showing a footage in which UML member of the CA Kamala Sharma Poudel is trying to attack NC member Purna Bahadur Khadka with her sandal. Ram Chandra Poudel and others are seen trying to prevent her from attacking. Kamala is the wife of the slain UML candidate of Surkhet Rishi Prasad Sharma. Kamala thinks, the channel says, Purna Bahadur Khadka is behind the killing just days before the voting in April 10. UML put forward the candidacy of Kamala at the place of her killed husband and she won the election. Now TVs are showing senior leaders of NC and UML talking about the issue. Jhalanath Khanal, UML general secretary, is seen talking with NC leaders. Other members are curiously looking.

Now (22:45), the PM, who is about 84-year-old, leaves for his official residence.

Now (22:43), the votes are being counted. It appears that there are no NO votes against the five-point proposal to declare Nepal a republic.

[Meanwhile, TV stations are reporting that the government has given tomorrow and the day after tomorrow public holidays to celebrate the declaration of republic. Five out of 26 remaining members of the CA have been nominated, reported a TV station.]

Now (22:15), Basantapur (Kathmandu Durbar Square) is decorated by the people to celebrate the declaration of republic. People there are eagerly awaiting the result of the vote.

Now (22:12), Prachanda is back to his seat after voting. He is greeting other members who are passing by from his seat.

Now (22:09), the members of the CA are now voting.

Now (22:05), almost all members are going towards the gate that is assigned for those who are FOR the proposal. Prachanda of the Maoist is leading this line, Jhalanath Khanal of the UML is just behind him. As per the constitution, only a simple majority of the 601-member CA is needed for the proposal to be passed.

Now (22:02), KB Gurung formally tables the proposal for the decision. He tells the members of CA how to vote and explains them the procedures.

Now (21:56), the belling is ringing for the voting. The bell will ring for five minutes.

Now (21:54), as KB Gurugn is explaining the voting procedure, the same RPP Nepal member raises objection saying that the parties should be given chance to have debate on the proposal. KB Gurung said he will be given such chance after the voting.

Now (21:53), the Proposal is presented for decision.

Now (21:52), Home Minister is tabling the proposal related to the implementation of the republic.

Now (21:50), Hridayesh Tripathi of Terai Madhes Loktantrik Party is raising some objections.

Now (21:48), the proposal asks the Nepalis all over the world to celebrate republic day on Jestha 15 every year.

Now (21:47), the proposal says the benifits, privileges that are given to the former king which are more than what the general Nepali citizen get will automatically be stopped.

Now (21:46), the proposal says Nepal has been turned into a federal democratic republic.

Now (21:44), Home Minister Sitaula is tabling the republican related proposal on behalf of the PM. He says the proposal is the result of the meeting of the political parties.

Now (21:42), KB Gurung presents the proposal for the CA assembly procedure. Now the voice voting, YES is loude. The same RPP N member is trying to intervene the meeting. There is no NO. The proposal is passed unanimously.

Now (21:40), KB Gurung is reading out a letter sent by the speaker of the Indian parliament Som Nath Chattarjee.

Now (21:38), the PM says its our responsibility to implement all the agreements that we reached earlier. I have already invited the Maoist to form the government.

Now (21:35), the PM says all sorts of violence must be stopped from now.

Now (21:34),, the PM says the sovereign right of people will never be compromised, it will be strengthened.

Now (21:31), The PM asks minister Ram Chandra Poudel to read the PM’s speech on behalf of him. Poudel starts reading.

Now (21:29), the PM says “we have entered in a new era” and because “we maintained mutual trust, unity and consensus” which “we must maintain in the days ahead. This is the biggest weapon to solve the problem. We have gathered here to solve the problem today. Today is the day when my dream has been fulfilled. Today is the day when the dream of the country has fulfilled.”

Now (21:26), the PM is addressing the assembly. This is an opportunity to change an era. I am happy to welcome you here on this occasion. A day comes once in an era. This day is today.

Now (21:24 ), the chairman gives permission to the Prime Minister to address the CA meeting.

Now (21:22), the assembly is observing a two minute silence for the respect of the martyrs.

(21:19 hours) The first meeting of the CA has begun. As soon as the meeting began (with the announcement of the Chair of the assembly KB Gurung, the oldest member of the assembly, a member of the assembly from RPP Nepal, a pro-king party, tried to raise objection regarding “procedural mistake”.

People on Streets to Welcome the Declaration of Republic

Update: (21:19 hours) The first meeting of the CA has begun.

Soi Dhole Soi, Ganatantra Khoi?

Thousands of jubilant people have hit the streets chanting slogans that hail Nepal as a republic country as the Constituent Assembly is about to declare Nepal a republic. People who have gathered in New Baneswor where the first meeting of the CA will convene in the International Convention Center, are flying colorful balloons, singing songs with almost every line including the word “ganatantra”, painting “Ga” [for ganatantra= republic] signs on their cheeks, “Ganatantra” on their foreheads. Hundreds are now gathering (as of now, 12:48 PM) in Tinkune where they are whistling, chanting slogans and screaming Ganatantra Jindabad [Long Love the Republic], Rajtantra Murdabad [Down With Monarchy], Gyane Chor Desh Chod [Thief Gyanendra, Leave The Country], Soi Dhole Soi, Ganatantra Khoi? [in tune with a traditional Kirat festival song]. Gyanendra, the last king of Nepal, will be given a 15-day deadline by the government to vacate the royal Narayanhitti palace after the CA formalizes the pre-CA election decision of the Interim Parliament to declare Nepal a republic. The meeting of the CA hasn’t started as yet. Political leaders are busy finalizing the technicalities of the declaration, amendments of the Interim constitution that is needed along with the declaration and provision, rights and privileges of the President and the Vice President of the republic of Nepal. Continue reading People on Streets to Welcome the Declaration of Republic

Aftermath of Nepal’s CA: By Hook or Crook

By The Conflict Study Center
[More credit at the end]

The unexpected results of historic Constituent Assembly (CA) elections have invigorated the CPN (Maoist), now the largest political party, on the one hand, and have enervated the former power holders, the NC in particular. Moreover, the results gave a mandate for transformation of the government from conformist-cum-centrist bourgeois democracy to socio-cultural democracy. Nepal has set a noble example of inclusion in terms of ethnicity, clan, gender, cultural and regional identities but excluding class. A full one-third (33%) of seats, between the first-past-the-post (FPTP) and the party’s close list proportional representation (PR), are held by women. Similarly, 34 percent belongs to Madhesi representatives, 33 percent to Janajatis, 8 to Dalits and34 percent to others out of 575 representatives. The ongoing discussion of the major political parties shall nominate 26 representatives from various walks of life – civil society, ethnicity, regional and cultural groups. Although the former insurgent CPN (Maoist) emerged as the largest party in the CA elections, it will be faced by a number of challenges: Continue reading Aftermath of Nepal’s CA: By Hook or Crook

Nepal Awaits To Be the REPUBLIC of Nepal

I am writing these lines on the second hour of the day (that is 28 May 2008) that is expected to be a historic. Nepal, a 240-year-old monarchy, will formally be declared a republic today by the first sitting of the Constituent Assembly. The CA will meet in New Baneshwor’s International Convention Center that has been turned into a fortress by the heavy presence of the police. (A small bomb had gone off just outside the building the day before yesterday while another blasted in another part of Kathmandu. The third was defused by the security personnel.) I am just back from the downtown Kathmandu observing the city. The road surrounding the royal Narayahitti palace where the last king of Nepal is living as of now (01:38 AM) is calm and empty. A few Nepali Army soldiers were seen patrolling on the northern side of the palace. That appeared to be the regular patrol. A few soldiers and Armed Police personnel were seen guarding the western gate of the palace. Continue reading Nepal Awaits To Be the REPUBLIC of Nepal