Nepali Times Asian Paints
Editorial
Born-again CA



BIKRAM RAI

Some people believe in reincarnation. So there is some logic to arguments put forward by those who say there is life after death of the Constituent Assembly.

The country is sinking into a black hole with a lame duck prime minister trying to rule by ordinance, a ceremonial president who doesn't want to rock the boat, no parliament, no constitution, no budget, no investment, no governance, no development, and no idea about when elections will be held.

Reviving the ex-CA will bring back a certain certitude, focus our minds on fixing the constitution, and hauling ourselves out of the morass we have gotten ourselves into. A born-again legislature would force political leaders to make one final push for consensus on the points of disagreement on the constitution which they could not achieve four months ago. This could come as part of a package agreement where the parties also strike a deal on an interim government to take us to the next elections. In short, the country would start moving again.

There is nothing wrong with hoping for the best, and being optimistic. But it is difficult to see how there can suddenly be an agreement which eluded leaders earlier. The CA's second coming is a bad idea, it is like making a blunder to correct a mistake. Taking the country back to the dangerous dead-end of 27 May would not solve any problems, it would take us back to the brink and force us to relive the spectre of communally-laced street violence.

The idea of reincarnating the late unlamented CA is being pushed by a few discredited political leaders who have nothing left to lose. It is mainly the project of Pushpa Kamal Dahal, who has been stoking identity politics with an eye on his own political career, no matter what that may do to the country. Given his wily ways, he has been working on the morally bankrupt and disgraced wimps in the other parties.

Depending on what works with each of them, he has been dangling carrots and massaging egos with Sher Bahadur Deuba, Sushil Koirala, Madhav Kumar Nepal, and Jhalanath Khanal to rustle up a consensus on CA revival. The strategy seems to be working, Koirala and Nepal are wavering while the others were for revival all along because they thought it would help them fulfil their personal ambitions.

But the unspoken reason all these scheming gentlemen want the CA back is because they are terrified of elections. By now, Dahal must have seen the writing on the wall and noticed his plummeting approval ratings in polls. He knows that in the next elections, even his own party votes will now be split. And the kindest thing we can say about most NC and UML leaders is that they are honest enough not to have very high expectations of themselves. The Madhesi parties have splintered so often and are of such ill repute because of blatant corruption that if it wasn't for the Tarai vote bank, they'd not fare well either.

Reviving the CA is undemocratic, it is an insult to the citizens of this country, and a violation of accepted rules and norms. The only way forward is for the prime minister to get the president to announce polls for VDC and DDC councils, and general elections for a new parliament that can perhaps serve for its first six months as a constitution-writing body.

There is the danger that campaigning will be along ethnic lines and parties will whip up identity politics to mask their non-performance on development and the economy. There could be repeats of the voter intimidation and cheating of 2008, but those issues can be addressed by strict new Election Commission guidelines.

We don't want to be haunted by the ghost of an undead CA, the politicians should be forced to go back to the people.

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1. Bob
Well argued editorial, but I have major misgivings about going for general and local elections without closure on the federalism debate. Identity-based campaigning and ethnic tension will make any future elections violent and far from free and fair. So, although it does look like Prachanda is trying to gain maximum advantage by reinstating the CA, that may be the least harmful of all the terrible options we have.

2. Jung

The reasons why the constitution was not written on May 27 still remain, nothing has changed. So to say that they will aim for a consensus and reconvene the CA "briefly" is just an eyewash to prolong the Maoist regime. Why cannot the Congresis and UML see that? It was all about power, it is still all about power. The Maoists don't wants elections now, because they know they will not get a majority. And the other factor in this equation is that Prachanda wants to dislodge Baburam, and he sees a CA revival as the fastest way to make that happen. 



3. Pundit

Agreed. Despite all the lies that Baburam Bhattarai has been spreading about why the constitution wasn't written on in May, it is now been proven without doubt that it was he himself who decided to abort the constitution. He did it for the right reasons because if he hadn't the country was going down a slippery slope of ethnic violence. But why does he have to lie about it? He should take credit for it, and try to convince the other political parties to go into the elections that he himself called.

 



4. Govind Giri

The problems can be solved only by going back to the people. The CA had already expired its mandate by two years in May, that is why it couldn't reach an agreement. And those who say "80%" of the constitution was already written are dead wrong. The deadlock was on the main issue identity federalism, constitutional court and executive presidential system. That is 100% of the constitution on which there was a stalemate. Prachanda thinks he can fix that this time by convincing everyone to revive the CA, it is so obvious that he is pulling the wool over the eyes of that foolish man, Sushil Koirala and the Mr Flipflop, Madav Nepal.



5. Suman Uprety

95 per cent will give a crap about the dying or murder of CA and now its revival effrots. All the people care about is security, law and order, peace, harmony, and most of all JOBS and Opportunities. People are sick to their stomach about what Dahal says or does, or Baburam or other morally deprived leaders of Nepal.  Every one engaged in immoral acts are really digging their own deep grave, make no mistake !  So, every day is a new day of hope, the darkness and evil that is so rampant today will end tomorrow, make no mistake for things will always change. If only Nepali leaders take pride in being a Nepali, take serious responsiblities to improve and advance and create a strong middle class, we would all be better off. The question of the moment is also that were Shah Kings better for Nepalis or the current corrupted leaders without any shame that trot around like peacocks, or Emperor w/o clothes. That should be the driving narrative. All the honest men and women from all political forces need to unite and take back the country from established gangs of Nepali Mafia.  If we all play by the same rules, our victory for all is guarenteed, make no mistake about that.

 



6. Birendra Bhattarai
Lets find an alternative to NC or UML or the Maoist ! This ugly nexus of Netas that exist today has to stopped. Dahal will do anything to be the next PM or President. Dahal belongs in jail not in Baluwatar or Shital Niwas. Nepali people disguted with Kings from Gorkha have only replaced  them  with  another pseudo King from Gorkha. If the people unite and revolt, the Netas will become powerless. So, lets take the power of so called BIG 3, whatever that means.  People should come to the streets and revolt and paralyze the country until these rascals are removed. The power lies with people and the  leaders. The sufferings of Nepalis must end. No more lying and cheating Netas.      

7. Shantha Singh
CA is dead ! Just let it go ! We should move forward and not back ! The fight for PM's chair within the NC is nothing but disgusting. Deuba betrayed Nepal once before by kissing Gyannedra's Ass. Now this same Deuba is holding Nepalis hostages. There has to other more COMPETENT and capable people than a failed Deuba that also is responsible for the violence of the Maoist. If no man can be trusted, then make a woman the PM, I bet she will do better than corrupt Bahuns.

8. Lin Piao
This is what happens who you put murderers, looters and torturers in government. What did you expect from the Maobadis? Exortion, intimidation and looting never stopped, and the Maobadis now have a morale boosting with the Americans taking them off the terrorist list. Haven't heard of anything more absurd than the world's greatest democracy embracing a party that has never renounced violence and the use of terror.


9. Ram Ashish
This prolonged vacuum when the prime minister himself says he is not in control, and the president's hands are tied, the constitutional bodies do not have leaders, there is no budget, no parliament is a recipe for disaster. Reviving the CA and having elections are both options, but they are just that: options. If the politics fails, both options can be disastrous. If the politics can be sorted out, both are good options. There is no good option or bad option, there is only good politics and bad politics. And at the moment, I'm afraid the poltiics is all bad, bad, bad. 

10. Nirmal

The editorial has reflected what I've been thinking all these days. We're condemned to suck in our breathe with LOTS OF INDIGNATION because of mal-functioning of democracy on behalf of 12 points pact by the political parties. This is the just price, although highly unaffordable for any mature democracy. We've made our bed now we must lie on it.

Since we've been engaged in this so called peace process we've wasted so much patience, energy and above all too much money. For what? So that few thousands of brain-washed militants get a kind of job to live their lives without knowing even ABCs of the human rights? So that the country's political class can run the country without elections -local or general- for years? So that the conservative mindset of our society could still preach in name of consensus? So that the democratic rules of the game that elsewhere are respected as the constitutional faiths be bypassed by those who govern? So that the most recalcitrant cynism of Maoist, Leninist and Stalinst discourse become the new political language of the whole society? How far we are going to deny shamelessly all these evidences and tolerate the very psychiatriatic disorder of a bunch of high level leaders which has contaminated even some of the editors of reputed national newspapers? This is the same group who brought the nepali politics upto this situation and they must be the ones who should clear their mess as soon as possible. 



11. Chirikaji
What we need is a : "DEMOCRATIC CONSTITUTION with social justice to all, specially the deprived". 
 There are three items to  this end..
Democracy. Democracy and Democracy.





12. Danny
Somebody, please just write that constitution today, and get on with business tomorrow. How hard is it? A constitution is a set of universal rights, it's hardly political and doesn't need specific stipulations about the interest of every little group, district, ethnicity etc. Heck, we could probably download a constitution from the internet, fill in the blanks!

Don't trust politicians, whose self-serving interest is to enjoy the benefits of being in power.

Somebody, just write it!


13. Shree Shrestha

Here is the constitution of Nepal using the technique of copy, paste and some not so new ideas.

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Edeja1



14. Chirikaji
#13 Shree Shrestha
Send this to PKD, BRB MB, JNK Sk & Co.


15. Gopal Shrestha
Dissapointment and desillusion.
More important Nepal is one of the poorest countries in the world yet there is waste of everything and stress due to lack of infrastructure and I would almost say undermining of normality...
Get it back into perspective, 1. the murderers need be brought to justice there is no way this can be delayed those trials should be open and public that will be very healing, 2. sustainable development education and jobs for all. 3. women need help to rise and shine, Nepal is one of the worst countries in the world in terms of equality this affects future and children. The ego of all those useless guys shrink it. And not all is an illusion, people can still work the earth and make things to survive as they used to do . Balance and a good government.


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


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