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Delhi Pact Negated

editMany a time this column has had to resort to recall. Recall that the so-called Janaandolan 2 led by the Nepali Congress was for the restoration of a duly dissolved parliament. Dig deeper into memory and you will discover that a constitutional monarchy acquiesced to the advice of the elected prime minister to dissolve parliament for elections. Recall that it was the elected prime minister who sought extension of office on grounds that he was unable to conduct the elections and recall that it was he who asked the king to use the contingency clause in the constitution to do so. Recall that the constitutional monarch dismissed his claim to continue as prime minister and asked parliament to provide the option for government at time when its stakeholders had tied the constitution into knots which the monarchy was asked to unravel. Recall also the ridicule and charges of high ambition poured on the king and the self seeking partisan demands of the political sector as precondition for cooperation that ultimately sought to compromise his arbitrational role as constitutional monarch. Recall that, ultimately, the king took to seeking cooperation from all in an election government he chose to head. The result was that the stakeholders went to New Delhi where the biggest threat to the constitution, the Maoists,  also assembled to forge the 12-point New Delhi agreement that is the source of political developments since then.
Common sense now dictates that the frailties of that 12-point accord keep us meandering from implementing a constitution that is beyond practicalities. The amendments that the country awaits to a constitution again touted as the result of the Delhi agreement appear as distant today as they were when the constitution was promulgated more than a year ago. Our leaders keep on harping the theme that if elections to all levels of government from the local, regional to the central must take place within the year in order for the constitution to be implemented or else disaster awaits. None are saying what disaster though and none would discuss the real hitches to implementation. The fact is that so much was negated at the very outset upon return from the Delhi agreements in utter disregard to fundamental principals of constitutionalism that it took a constituent assembly originally mandated for two years to extend its tenure to four, have the supreme court interject to conduct a second election for the constituent assembly and ramrod a constitution of dubious agenda that has needed amendments since its very outset. Let us face it, the Delhi accord has proven both inadequate and impractical. Before more constitutional disasters take place, it is time that its actors recognize this and begin from a firmer national basis that is all-inclusive.

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