Category Archives: Constituent Assembly 2

Good News: Janajatis for Constituent Assembly Elections

The government and agitating Indigenous groups finally ink a 20-point deal paving road for the CA elections

Again it seems like the CA election is happening on time. The Maoists are still not sure about it but more importantly, it appears, is that they are not sure about their victory. Anyway, the latest Prachanda formula is to use the election as a form of revolt or uprising. They have kept their bargaining cards of declaring republic and proportionate electoral system but hopefully they won’t be disturbing the biggest democratic process that is going to take place in November. It also seems the government has reached some kind of agreement with the Madhesi Janadhikar Fourm though formally both sides haven’t acknowledged the positive development. They have just said that they will come back to the talks table with the aim of addressing all the issues raised by all agitating Madhesi groups. So far so good. The government yesterday scored a success in bringing in the agitating Janajatis in the election fold. Kosh Raj Koirala in the Kathmandu Post writes:

The government, the agitating Nepal Federation of Indigenous Nationalities (NEFIN) and the ruling eight-party aligned Indigenous Nationalities Joint Struggle Committee (INJSC) finally inked a 20-point deal on Tuesday (yesterday). Both NEFIN and INJSC have withdrawn all their protest programs and announced they will make the upcoming Constituent Assembly (CA) election a success following the agreement reached after 10-rounds of negotiations. The deal was signed by Minister for Peace and Reconstruction, Ram Chandra Poudel on behalf of the government,and Dr Om Gurung and K B Gurung on behalf of the agitating Janajaatis. Talking to media persons, coordinator of NEFIN talks team, Dr Om Gurung, said “The government has fulfilled our demands to a large extent. We have now decided to withdraw all protest programs and actively participate in the movement for Constituent Assembly poll,” he added.

Highlights of the Agreement

1. 240 CA seats under First-Past-the-Post system to be “proportionately inclusive”

2. Constitutional guarantee of at least one representative from all 59 indigenous groups in the CA

3. Alternative arrangement for representation of groups failing to get elected through either the proportional or first-past-the-post system

4. Formation of State Restructuring Commission (SRC) soon

5. Govt to adopt ILO convention number 169; ratify UN declarations on the rights of indigenous people

6. Women from indigenous nationalities to get priority in development plans and programs

7. Recognition of local languages as official languages in government offices.

But Limbuwaan, Khumbuwaan strike paralyses eastern Nepal: Normal life across 16 districts in eastern Nepal has been crippled yesterday, the first day of three-day transport strike jointly called by two agitating ethnic groups in the region. Federal Limbuwaan State Council (FLSC) and Khumbuwaan National Front (KNF) called the bandh to press for their major demands such as autonomy with rights to self determinism and proportionate electoral system. (source)


Time For Maoists To Stop Creating Drama And Focus on Elections

What’s happening to comrade Prachanda these days? He has started speaking nonsense and behaving like a silly child. First, this fiasco about DDR and SSR. Then his statements on using YCL to provide security in elections. Prachanda should know once and for all that YCL and elections can’t come together in a single sentence. They are different altogether in every aspect. YCL is about intimidation and highhandedness while election is about the biggest democratic exercise ever for Nepal. Madhav Kumar Nepal and Sher Bahadur Deuba have rightly made it clear that deployment of YCL in election is unacceptable. Even the talks about that are unacceptable actually.

Prachanda and his party have already agreed upon the role of UNMIN in the peace process (arms management). The verification process that Prachand is happy to term as ‘the DDR conspiracy of the UNMIN’ was the point agreed by the Maoists in the peace agreement. After the verification comes the SSR. To create bakheda now, at a time when all parties are supposed to focus on elections, is to create obstacles for the CA elections.

Intentional obstacle?

The United Nations Mission in Nepal (UNMIN) coming to the press complaining of the unwillingness of the Maoists to discharge the combatants disqualified in the verification process should be considered seriously. It is a clear indication to the political parties, the civil society and the general public that they need to exert pressure on the Maoists to abide by the Agreement on Monitoring the Management of Arms and Armies. After the completion of the verification of the first camp in Ilam, the verification process has been stalled, and the Maoists are alleging that the UNMIN was conspiring to apply the regime of Disarmament, Demobilization and Re-integration (DDR). According to Prachanda, they want Security Sector Reform (SSR) for their combatants. Unfortunately, it seems o be not only the question of DDR or SSR; it looks more like an attempt by the Maoists to create an obstacle to delay the verification process. (more)

If not talks, then force: Meanwhile, we support the recent call made by the home minister Krishna Prasad Sitaula to all conflicting sides in Terai to come to the table for talks. If they don’t come, there is no other way then crushing them all by force. Groups like JTMM-Goit that are raising the voice to separate nation of Terai need to be deal with force because no negotiations can be held on the topic of national integrity.

Come One, Come All To Vote Your Destiny: Election Commission

As part of its unprecedented campaign, Election Commission will send 8 thousand volunteers in each and every house of all villages of Nepal to deliver invitation cards: You and your family members [who are registered at the Commission] are heartily invited to the nearby voting both for the Constituent Assembly election on November 22. No RSVP please!

An invitation to your family to vote. Sketch by Dewen via Kantipur

By Dinesh Wagle

People’s sacrifice brought them Loktantra
Constituent Assembly now rules their hearts

The Nepali version of this jingle, currently stored in the computers of select officials at the Election Commission (EC), will soon be broadcast over radio stations across the land.

The first airing of this jingle inviting people to Constituent Assembly (CA) poll booths on November 22, will mark the beginning of the biggest ever Voter Education Campaign (VEC) conducted by the EC. Unlike media campaigns by business houses promoting their products, the EC campaign will not only use all available forms of media but also deploy almost 8,000 people in door-to-door campaigns.

“We will explain to voters that their vote could have an impact on their own lives,” said Gopal Aryal, coordinator of VEC. “We will inform them of the technical aspects like how to ascertain if they can vote, what the ballot paper looks like, and how to cast votes in two ballot boxes. We want to tell them that their vote would make a difference.”

While it is upto the individual citizens to decide whether or not they make the trip to the voting booths, the EC plans to make them fully aware that this country’s biggest democratic exercise ever is taking place. Currently, 17.6 million voters are registered at the EC. Continue reading Come One, Come All To Vote Your Destiny: Election Commission

Do or Die: Constituent Assembly Election on Nov 22

By Dinesh Wagle

Hello everyone,

Mark this day in your calendar: November 22, 2007 or Mangsir 6, 2064. The meeting of the Council of Ministers today decided to hold the Constituent Assembly elections on that day. A meeting of the eight-party leaders yesterday had mandated the government to announce the date for the CA polls.

An informal meeting of the Joint Coordination Committee (JCC) of the eight-party alliance held under the coordination of Minister for Peace and Reconstruction Ram Chandra Poudel at his office yesterday gave the consent to the government. Earlier, while meeting with PM Koirala, the Election Commission had suggested the government to fix election date for November 23.

United We Vote for a democratic republic Nepal: This is a do or die situation for the political and government leadership because if they fail in holding the election this time, no one and nothing will save them from the downfall. The public also has the important role to play. They also have responsibility. We should not just rely on government machinery. We must play our role as aware individuals by helping in every possible way to make this plan a successful reality. Lets start the election campaign. Lets spread the word. Many people still don’t know about the CA. Tell them about CA and Loktantrik Ganatantra. On November 22, we will cast our vote for the formation of a democratic republic of Nepal.

During an eight-party meeting two weeks ago, Koirala had suggested that the elections be held on November 26.The CA elections had earlier been slated for June 20 (four days ago), but it was postponed after the Election Commission asked more time for the preparations. The polls will be the first post-war elections and the elected body- the CA-will rewrite Nepal’s constitution.

UWB Correction: The election date (English) is Nov 22, not 26 as we earlier reported. Nov 26 was Prime Minister Koirala’s date! Converting from BS (Mangsir 6) to AD sometime is a headache! They are even talking about changing our BS calendar making New Year in Chaitra instead of the current Baishakh. And, because of the change, marriages could be held also in the month of Kartik! Anyway, we regret for the error.