Nepali Times Asian Paints
RADHESHYAM ADHIKARI
Comment
The hunt for common ground


RADHESHYAM ADHIKARI


Finalising the constitution within the stipulated timeframe is the CA's duty. But to achieve this, the assembly will have to start focussing on certain issues right away:

1. Build consensus within and between parties
2. Manage disagreements
3. Manage it all within the deadline
4. Have a stable government

If we can achieve these points, we will be in an ideal situation. But this doesn't mean that the constitution building process should stop if we are unable to attain them. For this a consensus between the political forces is vital.

A sound basis of cooperation between the political forces was formed in the first meeting of the CA when a proposal for a new constitution was passed by a majority of 95 per cent. It outlined that sovereignty lies with the people of Nepal, which is a free, united, sovereign, secular and inclusive federal democratic republic state.

The second point of common ground was to be found in the political parties' manifestos that were put forward before the election. Almost all 25 parties agreed on human rights, rule of law, independent legislative, free press and a multi-party system.

Before starting the constitution writing process, the manifestos of all the parties should be studied so that the issues of agreement and disagreement can be defined and areas of contention discussed and debated.

The agreements made between the political parties and other groups represent the third point of cooperation. The CA has its work cut out implementing these agreements as some issues are hazy and need clarifying and directing. Until the new constitution is signed and sealed a government of national cooperation is needed.

It has already been decided that Nepal will be a federal state. But state reconstruction is a difficult and challenging task. If we are to uphold the agreements passed by the first meeting of the CA, reconstruction should take place within the ideals of a unified Nepal. Only then can we move towards federalism on a political, economic, geographic, linguistic, social and cultural basis.

The constitution writing is indeed a challenging process, but it has to be done. To complete it within the given time frame, it is necessary to build understanding and cooperation. It is not enough to simply complete the constitution, its meaningful implementation also requires harmony between all political forces. It is not unnatural to expect the players to play by the rules of the game. If a unanimous decision can't be reached, acceptance should be given to the one with a majority.



LATEST ISSUE
638
(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)


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