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Thumbprint Democracy

editThe last time the king was constitutional in this currently republican Nepal was when the 1990 constitution prevailed in the country. There is obviously an anomaly when the king is publicly recognized as such by a section of the official population in the neighborhood.
This surely has to do with the fact that the unconstitutional tampering with the 1990 constitution allows a significant section of the population to insist that there is a king in this country. If there is a king in the country it is under the 1990 constitution. The problem is that the 1990 constitution is not in vogue at the insistence of organized political parties that monopolized the 1990 constitution to retain their monopoly over the current dispensation and in so doing cut short shrift to constitutionalism in the guise of constitutionalism itself. In the process, they tampered with fundamental values, norms and practices of constitutionalism that is reflected also in the practice and implementation of the new constitution.
This impudent tampering and its effects is witnessed in the manner the new constitution was drafted. The elected and thus the sovereign constituent assembly were not consulted when the newly drafted constitution was sent for official approval for constitutional assembly endorsement. The use of the party whip insured its passage through the constituent assembly without a whimper regardless of the massive public opinion demonstrated against republican, federal and secular provisions when an attempt was made officially to secure direct popular support. If the law of the land could be tampered with in such a manner successfully, the same impudence could apply when the constitution was implemented, triggering the elections by way of which it has. Outright ignorance of democratic practices has been so demonstrated in what is deemed the current dabbling in constitutionalism was repeatedly demonstrated in the process of ‘implementing the constitution’ through the elections. Whenever shortcomings arose, our new political masters decided among themselves to pound their heads and seek procedural solutions without regard to its impact on democracy and its principles as have been developed and enshrined in behavioral mores that compose democracy. As a result we now have a thumbprint democracy in the country. Parliamentary democracy makes parliament sovereign because it is parliament that directs the head of state to appoint elected and sworn in parliamentarians to government. It is in this sense that the elected parliament is sovereign. The government is in the process of formation under K.P. Oli in supposed partnership with Pushpa Kamal Dahal (Prachanda) who, together, are overlords of political parties said to have the essential majority in a parliament that has yet to swear in and sit for the business of government. The essential numbers are presumed already made and the essential majority merely a presumption since our parliamentarians have the numbers to rubber stamp. It is thus also what former king Gyanendra says his democracy day message that mere elections don’t compose democracy is right. It is in the adherence of democratic practice, not merely elections that compose democracy.

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