Expired & Out

The PR system that currently exists in the country was introduced to ensure representation of women, marginalised, backward classes and ethnic communities into the political mainstream.

Dec. 19, 2022, 11:39 a.m.

The last House of Representatives during their tenure had discussed in their respective committees a number of Bills for presenting to the House and later the Rastriya Sabha to make into laws. Because of political developments – House and Committees not able to sit and function, a number of bills are at a ‘Trisankhu’ stage and waiting for the new parliamentarians and committees therein to take action. Are many of these proposals after hours of effort and work literally expired and out?

As per the statement of Dasrath Dhamala in Ratopati of 1st December 2022 some Bills in the old House of Representatives which were pending have already expired. Does it mean to us laymen that all the work done in the registration, discussion both in the House and Committees has been wasted? After all the previous of House of Representatives did not sit for a long time when the house was adjourned because of our major parties not seeing eye to eye? Imagine the amount of money spent when one considers the work that had been put in by the concerned representatives in formulating the concerned rules and regulations. Is the time all wasted and all the money spent in term of men’s and women’s hours of work all down the drain? Apparently twelve proposed Bills that are in the Rastriya Sabha will be processed in course of time.

Nearly three and half years ago, Shri Sher Bahadur Tamang a member of our previous House of Representatives, registered a bill in Parliament to manage and regulate marijuana farming in the country. No copies of the bill were circulated to parliament members. Six months ago he had queried this situation and objected to it as a violation. The bill at that time was one of forty-nine pending for years, to be presented in Parliament. Listing all here will be bothersome.

A report in the Online version of Ratopati on 1st Dec stated that the Karnali Pradesh had passed 53 out of 64 Bills tabled and that 11 of the intended had be ‘Expired’.

One has to only think about the effectiveness of Pradesh Administration. The initial complaint was of them being unable to function because of lack of administrative service rules and regulations plus those for law and order. Some of this has been done but results are not there to see. One glaring example of the inability to function is the fact that because of difficulties of ethnicity and language issues Pradesh 1 is still not named. A common activity by Pradesh administrations is procuring vehicles for the ‘high ups’ in various posts.

To ordinary folk like us, it is surprising that the work done by the previous house cannot be taken up by those re-elected and the new members. There should be provision for reconsideration of these proposed bills by appropriate Committees prior to rejecting them as unnecessary. This ensures continuity of the work done by the preceding House. Currently there are grave misgivings about the functioning of a ‘lame duck’ or caretaker government when one considers the Chief Justice imbroglio and the hasty bringing by it of an Ordinance to free convicted political offenders. It has no right and a new government should deliberate on it.

The PR system that currently exists in the country was introduced to ensure representation of women, marginalised, backward classes and ethnic communities into the political mainstream. Currently there is no representation of Rana Tharu. The system has been abused both at the Centre and Pradesh by all political parties which have nominated husband /wives plus other Natedar / Paribar besides favoured contractors and businessmen! Such ignoring of pre-requisites at both the Centre and Pradesh is a prime example of Daltantra. All our parties don’t have nationalistic fervour. Sadly all this is occurring as our ‘No Not Again’ campaign could not dispose off some of the expired oldies.

Now is the time to imagine and pray for a ‘make believe’ wish. If a constitutional amendment with a 2/3 majority, not an easy matter but becomes a reality to make changes regarding citizenship, it is essential to make some others from the list below:

  1. A PM or President with Executive Power.
  2. The Federal set-up is termed Central, the Pradesh is done away with but the country is divided into the current 77 or one or more districts if necessary under a district officer.
  3. Because of multiple parties and first past the post system as practised in the United Kingdom, we have had indecisive results with hung parliaments and periodic change of government. Provision for an election every five years on the basis of Proportional Representation System is more rational. However the system of election is so varied with multiple combinations that experts will have to be brought in to advice on the same. There must be built in protective measures, such as the necessity to get over 50% to win, if not the two highest have to have a run off. France and most countries in South America have this system. A current demand in Nepal of ‘None of the above’ must be included.
  4. The current system of election as per some experts is that the elected as per FPTP system and those selected as per the PRS cannot go together. While the FPTP is based on population the PRS is as per vote share. From the point of view of fairness it would be more rational to have a totally PRS with compulsory voting in place. In terms of each district where the number of representatives is even, there will be equal number of male or female representatives. In the case of an odd number the sex of the candidate will alternate with each election. We ought to get the whole system reviewed by experts.
  5. Members so elected will concern themselves with the legislating laws, making periodic visits to their constituencies, or getting regular feedback and voicing this in the House of Representatives for immediate action.
  6. Current major issues like secularisms, citizenship matters must be decided by Referendums and not by political coteries with vested interests.
  7. Full ministers and assistant of state will not be selected from these elected members of the House of Representatives. These individuals, chosen by the Chief Executive on basis of their expertise will have to face regular ‘Zero Hours’ in the House of Representatives.

I am resigned to my fate because a ‘Vote of No Confidence’ cannot be brought for two years however badly the coming government performs.

The author is a retired medical doctor and writes fiction under the pen name of Mani Dixit also. Website: www.hdixit.org.np. Twitter: @manidixithd

Dr.Hemang Dixit.jpg

Hemang Dixit

The author writes fiction under the name of Mani Dixit. Website: www.hdixit.org.np. Twitter: @manidixithd

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