Nepali Times Asian Paints
Against discrimination

There's a feeling that although your party is leading the government you are still not serious about writing the constitution.

These are baseless accusations coming from the NC. In fact, they are the reason why it has been delayed. Since the Maoist-led government was formed they are looking for excuses to foil and delay
the process.

Will CA members of your party obey party whip?
CA members must remain under their party's discipline. That is not a negative thing. Because the constitution will guarantee the rights of the people, it is imperative that the members use their wisdom.

What are some of the gender issues that must be included in the new constitution?
We are going to the people to ask them for suggestions on what should be included in the constitution. One thing remains clear: men and women need to be equal.

You have been talking about a people's republic. What would that look like?
To write a constitution in favour of people and sections that have been discriminated against is the most important aspect of a people's republic.

For equity

Interview with Sita Gurung (NC)

Why is the constitution writing process delayed?

We are worried that it may be getting too late. We should have been able to do quite a lot in these last six months. We have been told that the constitution writing process cannot start until the Rules and Procedures are ready. But I think it is because of the wrangling between the political parties that's delaying the process. Since the Maoists are leading the government they are responsible for this.

But the Maoist leaders are saying that NC has refused to cooperate.
That's not true. We may be in the opposition in parliament but not in the constituent assembly. Whatever they say, we will not stop pressuring for a democratic constitution.

Your party has said that its CA members must obey the party whip.
It is only if the members are in the legislative assembly that they have to obey their party's whip, not in a constituent assembly. The constitution can't be re-written again and again, which is why the members need to be allowed to use individual discretion. A party doesn't send someone they don't trust to the assembly. It is high time the parties understood that their members have a mind of their own and can vote wisely.

What kind of constitution are you envisioning?
The NC wants a constitution that can establish Federal Republic of Nepal. The right of all ethnicities, language, regions, religious minorities and discriminated groups must be protected. Discrimination with regards to education and property between men and women must end. There must be reservations for women for a short period of time in all sections of the state.

(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)