Thursday , September 20 2018

The Lie

editThe haste to tell our world that federal, secular, republican Nepali constitution has now entered its implementation phase after some two years of promulgation is proving the bane. The constitution is at best incomplete since our new ‘kings’ have yet to concur on exactly how those voted for in the elections should be represented in the legislature. Evidently, the sanctity of the presidency is currently being undermined since a bill defining that representation under the constitution is pending presidential approval. The democratic crime lies, not in the president sitting on the bill but on the elections taking place before presidential approval of the bill that passed the legislature but refrains from being law because of the lack of approval. So what system of representation in the upper house did the voters exactly vote for? These are constitutional questions which should have been ironed out prior to the implementation phase but the fast track priority is designed perhaps to precipitate agreements not from parliament but for the streets. It is not surprising therefore that current politics provoke the streets. Demands on the presidency in defining the constitution regarding the upper house is one matter, already, now, there is the demand on the election commission to define when the parliamentary elections are over. That, in democracies, the elections are over only when the newly elected are summoned to parliament where the newly elected will be enabled to demonstrate their numbers for government is lost in our constitutional process still.
The provocations on the constitution abound. Elections to the local levels already over since months have not enabled these local levels to function while the bureaucracy that was manning the previous local governments have been made defunct. It is at these grass roots that day to day necessities of the newly empowered people must be met on a day to day basis. Unfortunately we have new elected functionaries that have been non-functioning for months to the imperilment of the local people. So where is the constitution? This question resounding at the mass level already defeats the constitution implementation phase more than the now carefully asked question of how our new federalism is to be funded since the actual costs of the local levels have now been calculated at over four-folds. The answer has been met with words of caution and care in expenditure but the fact remains that existing manpower has been proven inadequate for the grass roots to be manned and much homework remains to not only requisition and redistribute existing civil servants and services but creating additional staff has been the more difficult given the immediacy of the need. And, so, we have the monopolists of our new ‘system’ making threats and public postures. Somehow, these words and actions sound a little too deliberate to underscore meaningful provocations with nefarious designs. The fact is that more lies have been exposed to the discomfort of a restive population.

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