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Amending or scrapping the constitution?

By Pushpa Raj Pradhan  
conctitution-of-nepal_20150704122433The political parties have been divided on the issue of amendment of the constitution for the second time. NC and MC coalition government is trying to amend the constitution to please their Indian bosses. UML has warned that as the amendment in the constitution is not for the Nepali people but for India, it would not allow the ruling parties for any amendment in the constitution. UML has even warned to organize nationwide protest.
The Cabinet on Tuesday took the decision to present the amendment proposal in the Parliament. What will be the fate of the amendment proposal, even PM Pushpakamal Dahal and also NC president Sher Bahadur Deuba. Both of them are waiting for some kind of miracle from Delhi.
It is clear that UML is not going to support the amendment proposal. Therefore, NC and MC has tried to amend the constitution without the support of UML. On this also, the ruling parties need support from the Tarai parties. If the Tarai parties don’t support the amendment motion, the constitution cannot be amended. So far, RPP chairman Pashupati Shumsher Rana has claimed that RPP will vote for amendment of the proposal. It is very difficult to bag two-thirds majority for the government and without any kind of miracle from the Lainchour Durbar, it is impossible.
Violation of constitutional provisions:
The constitution is facing a serious crisis on its implementation. Meanwhile, the chief election commissioner has made it clear that the Commission is unable to meet the given deadline to hold local level elections. Nevertheless, the political parties are trying to escape local and provincial elections and trying to hold the election of the new parliament before 21 April 2018 to give the message that they have been able to implement the constitution before the deadline. However, this is a violation of the constitutional provision.
Even if they do so, the system cannot function without election of the provinces, the national assembly cannot be formed.
Furthermore, the UML leaders as well as legal experts are saying that as per the Article 274.4 and 296.4, the present Legislative Parliament has no prerogative to amend the constitution rather this Parliament is formed just for implementation of the constitution. However, this parliament can draft and endorse necessary laws. Also, to make any changes on the provincial boundaries, the provincial parliament has to endorse the decision. As currently there is no provincial parliament, therefore, the provincial boundaries cannot be changed.
On the other hand, PM Dahal has announced that on that case, he would suspend such Articles in the constitution. This is solely unconstitutional and serious violence of the constitution.
Non-functional constitution:
What were we saying from the beginning is that Nepal cannot sustain the modality of secular, federal republic. In one decade of exercising the “loktantrik” modality, it has become clear that the present system cannot function, rather, it has destroyed harmony in our social structure.
In one decade, we have witnessed political instability as we saw ten prime ministers in ten years. There is no elected body in the local unit for about two decades and the “loktantrik” governments too have not been able to hold local elections in one decade. Corruption has been institutionalized and the political leaders are involved in daylight loot of the state treasure.  More serious, nation’s sovereignty, territorial integrity, independence have been seriously threatened and harmony among different communities has been destroyed. In conclusion, the nation is on the verge of bloody conflict. To save the nation, the constitution should be scrapped immediately and return to the 1990 constitution.

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