Four months after its dissolution, the fate of the Constituent Assembly has finally been sealed. The parties have agreed not to revive the dissolved house and go for polls in April 2013 instead, with a broad agreement that the elected body will function as a CA for one year and then convert itself into a parliament. The parties have also agreed on a five year term for the elected body, but are yet to agree on its size.
This is a welcome step, but the parties must not repeat the past mistake of exhausting the legitimacy of the house. There is no doubt that conducting free and fair elections in the present situation will be challenging. Besides, the parties also have to take political decisions to remove legal obstacles before the elections can be held. It is also crucial that election commissioners be appointed at the earliest.
The parties have agreed to make the next electoral government into a national government, but they must be clear on who will lead it. Indeed, in the wake of protracted deadlock, going for elections seems like the most viable option, which in turn should yield the constitution in the shortest possible time.