Here is the Constitution that parties have prepared
N24 Political Desk: Wait and uncertainty surrounding the coming of new constitution on May 27 has ended. If information provided by formal and informal sources and analysis of the recent events and adding to it statements of some Indian diplomats is considered, the new constitution is ready. But we will have to wait for the promised day to know its actual contents from the leaders themselves. However, before they do the job, this analysis is just an attempt to present the said constitution’s core issues. But before going to it, here is why inter-party contentions have been roaring high in the recent days.
After the recent Hattiban-meet, political parties had neared understanding on 7-8 provincial federal model, mixed model of governance and electoral system. The understanding, posed challenges to parties from within and outside. Host of ethnic and regional groups, which so far have been promised of separate and autonomous states, within the lead parties and outside them, challenged this understanding and started engaging in moving against it. Of these political parties and their leaders, Maoist party and its chief Prachanda, are walking on a tight rope. Loosing the balance, would mean disintegration of the party and loss of decade long achievements. Though other parties also have dissenting and ethnic factions, the Maoist hardliners and ethnic leaders, are presently the most dread threat to the Maoist leadership in particular and to all the parties in general.
Considering possible protests and agitations from these group, Maoist, Congress, UML and the Madheshi Front, are presently staging the drama of debating federalism. The present anticlimax, written by the Maoist as understood by an informal source, will resolve on the midnight of May 27.
The 10-province model of the Maoists, 7-province model of the Congress and the 12-province model of the UML and the reluctance shown by them in giving up their stance, is a way to extend the anticlimax and to maintain the pubic anxiety about the fate of the new constitution. This anticlimax has also given time party leaders to contain internal differences within and outside the party and for possible dialogues with agitating ethnic and regional groups and make them ready for ultimate show.
The new 10-province proposal of the Maoist, has given Prachanda sufficient time to manage the hardliners and ethnic hardliners. If information provided by a knowledgeable source is taken into consideration, Prachanda will continue the discussions on the 10 province model and try to bargain support from other parties till May 27 and will ultimately promulgate the new constitution with 7 to 9 provinces. That will be done swiftly, just as he did in handing over the arms and armies to the state last month. Its gonna happen again.
But conditions in both actions won’t be same. The Maoist hardliners, which is presently organizing its strength across the nation and building support from ethnic groups, and other ethnic and regional groups, will also put up their show. To face them, political parties, government, civil society are preparing themselves. And, we should not forget the role of our earnest southern neighbor in managing these possible conflicts, because political parties, including the Maoists have considered this.
They have fully attended to this ingredient. Recent praise-songs of Prachanda for Indian contribution to the peace and constitution writing process in an Indian daily newspaper is sufficient to conclude that, he has full backing from India’s ruling coalition. Recent statement of Indian diplomat S D Muni that Nepal will get its constitution on the said date, also supports the proposition that India has given green signal to internal understanding of the parties.
Contents of new constitution in nutshell
So, here is what we will have in the new constitution, that will be unveiled on May 27. There will be around 6-8 provinces in new Nepal. In East two states Khumbuwan and Limbuwan, in Center Tamsaling and Newa state, Tamu and Magrat in mid-west, Karnali and Far-West in the western region. Similarly they have also agreed to two states in Terai region from Lumbini to Saptari.
In the forms of governance parties have agreed on mixed forms of governance with a metaphorical President having 30 percent of power and a legislative elected Prime Minister possessing 70 percent of power. Even Muni had said that this would be the best form in his recent interaction at the Reporters Club.
As recently agreed between the parties, the central bicameral legislative will have three hundred 24 members in the Lower House and 60 members in the Upper House, and 35 members in provincial parliament.
The electoral system will be based on 55 percent direct election and 45 percent proportional representation system.
And as agreed, the Constitutional Court will be established at the Supreme Court as a bench to be headed by the Chief Justice and will be in place for five years to resolve all the constitutional anomalies and differences between center-province and province-province till the VDC level.