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FACE TO FACE

 
Constitution Will Be Promulgated

By Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda

Our party is honestly and sincerely supporting the constitution writing and peace process. We don’t want to deviate from our position. UCPN-Maoist has already sacrificed many things for the peace process. Other political parties, however, see our flexibility as a weakness. Constituent Assembly is our brain child and we don’t want to see its dissolution without promulgation of the new constitution. There are regressive and reactionary forces active to discredit us and Constituent Assembly. I am almost certain that we will promulgate the new constitution, which will protect the rights of dalits, janjatis, farmers and oppressed classes.  

I have to accept the fact that in recent days political parties are heading towards the right direction. Maoists are really committed to the peace process and promulgation of new constitution by May 27. Political parties need to work together for the betterment of the country. If we fail to promulgate the new constitution, it will encourage forces against us. Formation of high level committee among country’s major political parties is a good indication. I am pretty sure that the new constitution will promulgated by the deadline. We don’t have any alternative other than to promulgate the new constitution. We have made a lot of progress in the constitution writing and we can draft it in remaining three months.  Other parties too need to realize the importance of the hour.

We are standing at the crossroads of Nepalese history. To institutionalize the achievements made during the People’s War and People’s Movement II, we must work together to bring the constitution in time. If we fail to promulgate the new constitution, people will blame us. We must act and work together to have the new constitution.

PLA cantonments will be vacated within 2-3 weeks. The cantonments would be vacated within the proposed period, but there should be progress in the constitution drafting and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission fronts. The parties must prepare an objective outline on the integration of combatants on the basis of a non-paper presented by the Army. We don’t want to linger the integration process. The integration process must be honorable.

As per the demand of two parties, we have already decided that all the cantonments will be emptied in less than three weeks and that the Special Committee will take the initiative for that very soon. I want to make it clear to other parties that the ball is now in their court and they have to take drastic decision to fulfill their commitments. My party is committed to the peace agreement and that it will not take more than two or three weeks to empty the cantonments. I had forwarded a proposal at the meeting to complete the integration process within three weeks. I have proposed emptying the cantonments within three weeks. But such a decision should rather be taken by the Special Committee. Maoists have already shown enough flexibility to other parties and the time has come for other parties to take the decision which will help to promulgate the new constitution in time.  If we failed to produce the constitution, all of us will be the loser.

(This is based on media reports.)


“We Cannot Promulgate The New Constitution By The Deadline”

NILAMBER ACHARYA

As less than three months are left for the promulgation of the new constitution, political parties are yet to agree on several important constitutional issues, namely, restructuring of the state, forms of government, judiciary and elections process. Chairman of Constitutional Committee of the Constituent Assembly NILAMBER ACHRYA, who played a key role in promulgating the Constitution of the Kingdom of Nepal in 1990, spoke to the media. Excerpts:

Less than three months are left for the tenure of the Constituent Assembly to end. How do you see the possibility of a new constitution by May 27?

Given the present political stalemate, we cannot promulgate the new constitution by the deadline. As the relations between major political parties are deteriorating, the situation is unfavorable for the writing of the constitution.

It is reported that political parties are closer to settlement. What do you say?
I have not seen any such situation. Just holding meetings and talking with each other would not be enough. Had they come closer, the fundamental constitutional disputes like forms of government, state restructuring, judiciary and elections system would have been settled a long time back. I have not even seen cordial relations within political parties. A faction of the ruling party comes to oppose the bill tabled by the government.  This is a political tragedy.

What do you say about the regular meetings of leaders of major political parties? Is not it directed to consensus making?

There are a lot of differences. For instance, differences still prevail on peace process as it should have settled long time back.  The agreement reached between political parties are yet to be implemented. There are many differences among them.

What are the problems?

One of the main problems is the failure of political parties to implement the agreement. There is a deficit of trust among the political parties. It is impossible to write the new constitution in distrust and mistrust among major political parties.

How much work has completed in the last four years by Constituent Assembly?

If you see, in terms of numbers, we have already settled a number of disputes. Except for the issue of state restructuring, political parties are very close to a deal in forms of government, judiciary and electoral process.

At a time when the constitutional related issues are debated outside the institution of Constituent Assembly, don’t you think it is against the spirit of CA?

All the constitutional issues should have been discussed through the institutions under Constituent Assembly. It is not good to see the constitutional debates taking place outside the Constituent Assembly.  Constitutional Committee and sub-committee are the legitimate bodies of the Constituent Assembly. Political parties need to make agreement to make these legitimate bodies more effective. Of course, political negotiations are good but it should remain within a political course.

What will be the political solution in case the CA fails to promulgate the new constitution by May 27?

 It is not a question of Constituent Assembly. It is related to how we can normalize country’s overall situation. If there is a good relationship among major political parties, the situation in the country will be normal whether there is constitution or no constitution. If the relations between the political parties continue to deteriorate, it is meaningless even if we have the new constitution.

If the relations between political parties deteriorate further, what will be the consequences?

No country will have peace as long as unless the relations between political parties are good. There is the need to have good relations among all the political forces to run the country smoothly.

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