It took nearly a month for the interim constitution drafting committee to add more members. But it still has not been given full shape, for example. a seat has just been reserved for a Dalit representative. This only proves that the government-Maoist talks process lacks homework, consultation and transparency. Soon after the eight-point agreement was signed at the prime minister's residence on 16 June, the six-member committee was formed. That was the same day Maoist chairman Prachanda appeared in public. But the drafting committee immediately became the subject of controversy. Apparently it was formed in a hurry and no members were given directives. Would the government and the Maoists prepare the initial framework of the interim statute and direct the committee which, after extensive consultation, would propose a statute to the political parties? Or would it function like a task force, which would pave the constitutional way to alternative provisions? The committee is composed of legal experts, so the technical aspect of the interim constitution should be good, but the political parties themselves should first be clear about the political roadmap.
Also, the time given to the committee is insufficient to prepare a draft of a completely independent statute. Neither the government nor the Maoists has cited a reason for expanding the committee to 16 and they did not think it necessary to publicly introduce the new members. This shows that they assume that whatever they decide will be accepted by the people. This is not a good sign. In fact, the selection criterion was not equal representation among different groups or potential members' specialisations but an equal share of the cake among the parties. The focus has been to impose decisions reached in a secret room rather than consulting with various sectors of society and ensuring fair representation of all national interests and sentiments. It is not easy to manage the transitional period after the people's democratic movement. Both sides must continue talking to create an atmosphere of trust. The disputes to date have been over process not ideology. Compromise can always be reached on such differences.