With the lapse of time, whether the history of ruling monarch will repeat in changed form? This fear hangs over the mind of common people, as the present Constitutional developments are not so encouraging.
By Suryabahadur Singh
The constitutional evolutionary phases were continuously witnessed throughout the development process in Nepal. The post second Jan-andolan,2062 (2005) period has provided ample opportunities for stabilizing and institutionalizing the institutional democracy, peace and constitutional reforms. The formation of Constituent Assembly has raised the common man’s hope of period getting a constitutional solution forever. The Nepalese masses have not forgotten that, the Constituent assembly was a mere declaration by the King Mahendra in 2007(1950) and the successive constitutions were formed by the related Constitution drafting committees. At that time, the constitutional experts were hand picked, the rigidity, abstract law, limited constitutional resources, least judicial developments and impact of ruling monarch were major hurdles in the way of making appropriate Nepali constitution. Along with this, soaring socio-economic problems has obstructed a lot for experimenting with past six constitutions having colors, flavor and impact of then existing time.
The Constitution of Nepal, 2019(1962) which was in vogue with the Panchayati policies for past twenty eight years, whereas The Constitution of Nepal, 2047(1990) having elaborate constitutional base for democratic process have worked for mere seventeen years. The existing Interim Constitution of Nepal, 2065(2008) have declared Federal Republic of Nepal and open a gateway for constitutional changes through Constituent assembly. The assembly have six hundred one learned members from major political parties to frame a new constitution within a period of two- years, but the chaos continue and fear of constitutional mishaps are grasping in the air.
With the lapse of time, whether the history of ruling monarch and concocted situation will repeat in changed form? This fear hangs over the mind of common people, as the present Constitutional developments are not so encouraging. The withering symptoms are seen in the directionless discussions of constitutional committees, whereby the framers of new constitutions were giving more importance to party political agendas over the globally accepted sound constitutional principles.
The rule of law, competitive constitutional practices, creative, inclusive, culturally suitable Nepalese constitutional aspects covering entire nation are lacking. The object and reasons of various constitutional provisions lacks the fundamental aspects of Check and balance. The discussions in the constitutional committees are loosing the track of pith and substance for evolving better constitutional provisions. Every Nepali statesman knows, what sort of major socio-economic problems country faces? It ranges from poverty to challenges of global competitions, but the aversion to healthy, sound and requisite constitutional provisions priorities’ blind path of party political policies. Whereby, the constituent assembly members are harping on provisions solely directed by their party policy diktat overriding fair constitutional principles. It leads to present Nepali constitutional dilemma.
Comparatively, the resources for constitutional changes in Nepal are more favorable now. The availability of fully trained Nepali constitutional experts, optimum level of mass awareness, activated Nepali Judiciary, exhaustive Nepalese precedents, live exposure to experience of democratic countries and world class constitutional documents at the finger tip or click of the mouse. The post second Jan Andolan period have witnessed some of the positive changes initially, whereby changes in the electoral reforms, introduction of First Past the Post System, delimitation of constituencies, formation of Constituent Assembly, reservation to women, secularism, constitutional reformative provisions, exhaustive interim constitution, banning practices of un- touchable and inclusive steps for Federal Nepal . Later, the power play disrupts the process of formulating New Constitution of Nepal resulting into downfall of development process.
Basically, the developing nation should have a proactive constitutional provisions related to trade, commerce and finance. The neo-federal structure call for elaborate inter state and intra state relations for effective development through appropriate social engineering. The Constitutional document should be institutionalized, flexible and a panacea for developmental challenges. It has been observed that, the frequent over all changes in basic constitutional document results into instability, ineffective governance, disturbances, up rise of dictatorial faction, incompatibility and weak nation.
These constitutional challenges calls for resolving the apparent problems and accept the realism in the framing of new constitution of Nepal. Its letter and spirit should full fill the dreams of founding father of nation, martyrs, along with achieving vision for globally competitive Nepal. Let’s hope these constitutional dilemmas are averted soon to keep Constitutional changes on right track.
(The Nepali vikram samvat year followed by year shown in brackets is year as per Gregorian calendar).