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.