NEPAL LAW SOCIETY Bridging The Info Gap

At a time when the gap in information about constitution making is growing between the common people and CA members, NLS and International IDEA have come up with programs to bridge it<br>A CORRESPONDENT

Nov. 1, 2010, 5:45 p.m. Published in Magazine Issue: Vol. 04 No.-09 Oct 29 2010 (Kartik 12, 2067)

When the country as a whole is stuck in the middle of an uncertain political course and is suffering from delay in the process of constitution writing, Nepal Law Society (NLS) and International IDEA have come up with two programs that will help generate optimism.

Differences remain over major constitutional issues in the drafts of thematic committees of the Constituent Assembly. A high level committee formed under the chairmanship of UCPN-Maoist leader Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda to sort out the differences is yet to accomplish its task. As the CA passes through a very critical phase amid continuing political deadlock, negative views about the relevancy of CA and its members are getting stronger.

In such a situation of growing despair, NLS and International IDEA have drafted a new model constitution - on the basis of reports of 11 thematic committees - by involving constitutional experts.

If things go as planned by NLS and International IDEA, their program will contribute a lot in the dissemination of information. They hope that their efforts will help the CA when it goes to the people for public view collection on the first draft of the constitution.

The model constitution will provide a technical basis to prepare the much needed framework and guidelines.

Likewise, the creation of Information centers will help disseminate information on constitution building.

Established with the support from Constituent Assembly Secretariat, the Constitution Information Center will bridge the information gap in the process of constitution writing.

Five such information centers have already been opened in Dhangadi, Nepalgunj, Pokhara, Bharatpur and Biratnagar.

“We plan to take these centers to all 75 districts by the time the first draft of constitution reaches the public,” said Krishna Man Pradhan, executive director of NLS. “We are very encouraged by the enthusiastic response to the centers from all stakeholders, including local people, CA members, local media persons, lawyers, community leaders and political leaders.”

Even though the CA members have completed a hugely important task by preparing thematic committee reports in the last two and a half years, the common people do not know about this due to lack of proper communication channels.  Only the negative reports of delay and inefficiency have been aired – leading to an extremely difficult environment.

Established with an aim to share information about constitution related materials and activities of the CA and CA members with the general public in collaboration with the CA Secretariat, the Constitution Information Centers can play important role in the coming days when the process of constitution making gains pace.


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