Respect for People’s Verdict: Amendment of Nepal’s Constitution

The present unrest in Terai has been stirred up by few Terai based political parties aiming at reviving their old ethnicity and race based agenda

Nov. 27, 2015, 5:45 p.m. Published in Magazine Issue: Vol 09, No 10,November 27,2015 (Mangsir, 11,2072)

The second constituent assembly election  was in every sense a referendum primarily to settle  controversies  over ethnicity related problems that had impeded the finalization of provincial boundaries and other issues in our new constitution. The ethnicity related proposals put forward by the UCPN Maoist and Madhese parties were widely discussed until the date fixed to hold  the second assembly election, and  finally they were overwhelmingly voted out.

 It is quite strange why  concerned authorities and  also intelligentsia don’t explain above facts in media to  general public and international community. Absence of any reference to  the  verdict of a vast majority of Nepalese people that has served as guideline in formulation of recently promulgated  new constitution  might have thrown into great confusion many international communities including our close neighboring countries.

Present Unrest

The present unrest in Terai has been stirred up by few Terai based political parties aiming at reviving their old ethnicity and race based agenda. These political parties want that the recently promulgated constitution must be completely overhauled to accommodate fully their demand. The results of the second constituent assembly election has already clearly shown  that the Nepalese people including those living in Terai are not yet prepared to entertain the ethnicity and race based  agenda   of Terai based political parties. Despite such lack of public support for the  Terai based political parties, major political parties agree that the newly promulgated constitution must be amended to accommodate some genuine  concerns of the Terai people.

Declared Agenda of UCPN Maoist and Terai Based Parties 

The UCPN Maoist party  along with Terai and few Hill based political parties according to their declared agenda had wanted to promulgate the new constitution dividing Terai in to two provinces and the rest of  country into several provinces on ethnicity and race basis. 

The idea of two  Terai provinces had been approved by then interim government. Paradoxically the interim government had also approved  division of Terai into four provinces whereby most of the Terai  would be exclusively in  two Terai provinces, which would be totally  detached from the adjoining hill regions,  whereas the remaining two separate areas would be linked to adjoining  hill regions.

First Constituent Assembly

The UCPN Maoist and Terai based political parties strongly committed to introduce ethnicity based constitution failed to muster enough support to adopt ethnicity and  race based new constitution even though the life of the assembly was significantly prolonged in the expectation of reaching a consensus among all political parties. In the life of the first constituent assemble four coalition governments were formed.  The last government, like the first one, was led by the UCPN Maoist party.

Dissolution of Assembly

Then Prime-minister Dr. B.R. Bhattarai, who had led  the last coalition government of the UCPN Maoist, Madhesi  and other political parties  dissolved the assembly to hold  second assembly election announcing to seek overwhelming fresh mandate needed  to adopt the agenda of the UCPN Maoist and Terai based parties. The election was truly going to be a referendum on their ethnicity and race based agenda. To great surprise of many the outcome of the  second  assembly election was virtually a massacre of the UCPN Maoist and its allied parties for their ethnicity and race based agenda.

Referendum on Ethnicity Based Agenda

The second constituent assembly election was in reality a referendum on ethnicity and race issues. The UCPN Maoist and Madhese parties committed to introduce their ethnicity and race based agenda  were completely defeated in the election. The UCPN Maoist party, which had the largest number of seats in the last assembly was  squeezed  to third position far behind the parties occupying first and second position in term of their number of seats in newly elected assembly. Madhese parties, which are entirely based in Terai, suffered the most humiliating defeat. Their strength in the newly elected assembly was sharply reduced to few seats.  Even the hill regional parties advocating ethnicity based agenda equally suffered  humiliating defeat.

The political parties opposing ethnicity based agenda won by a landslide. They won more than two third seats in the assembly.  Thus the ethnicity based agenda was completely rejected by the people..

 Post Referendum

Nepalese people including those living in Terai had overwhelmingly voted in the second constituent assembly election. The second constituent assembly election was truly a referendum on ethnicity and race based agenda. 

Accepting the verdict of the people the UCPN Maoist party for the time being dropped  its race and ethnicity based agenda. Unfortunately, this issue is again being raised by some Terai  based   parties.

 

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