- By Dirgha Raj Prasai
The term of the Constituent Assembly (CA) ended at midnight of 27 May, 2012. The CA failed to promulgate a constitution consequently ending the relevance of Baburam Bhattarai’s cabinet, presidential apparatus and all the elements formed under the interim constitution, 2006. The President and the Prime Minister, without constitutional mandate, are legally debarred from exercising any constitutional right. In disregard to studious attention of such facts, so-called President Rambaran designated Baburam Bhattarai as the acting PM. How can former President Yadav who has already lost his own position order Bhattarai to remain an acting PM? Baburam Bhattarai is automatically relieved of his position as PM and CA member with the dissolution of CA. Despite of loosing constitutional right, Bhattarai announced the date for re-election. Because the Supreme Court granted the consent as an alternative, the parliamentary election would have had legal footing, only if two-third majority of CA would have agreed to do so before the expiry of its term. It would not be an excess to declare Baburam Bhattarai, in consideration of his activities, an accomplice in acts of treason. CA failed to promulgate the constitution in the stipulated time span of two years. Time and again CA term was extended and the work of drafting the constitution could still not be done in four years time, eventually climaxing with the dissolution of CA. With their failure to draft a new constitutionparty leaders betrayed the nation and the people. They may again force the country to revert back to yesterday’s plight. Those who do not understand the consequences of a political destiny have polluted the political system.
The interim constitution 2006 that was introduced for the management of CA holds no meaning after the dissolution of CA. The interim constitution 2006 was automatically dissolved as the new constitution was not drafted in time. The 1990 constitution has automatically revived. The state must immediately take action against whosoever desire to start a debate intent on keeping the people in illusion like in the time of yesterdays.
The Nepal Students’ Union founder-coordinator, Nepali Congress leader and veteran advocate Devendra Nepali wrote in a daily newspaper- 'If the interim constitution 2006 fails to draft a new constitution then it will automatically dissolve and become defunct. The existence of the political parties was accepted as per the 1990 constitution; in this sense the 1990 constitution is seen as the legal parent of the political parties. It was established by the 1990 constitution viewing the people as sovereign. The dissolution of the interim constitution will automatically revive and activate the constitutional monarchy, multiparty parliamentary system and all other organs and institutions under 1990 constitution. It is fallacious to posit a nation without a constitution when the legality of the 1990 constitution revives.' Similarly Maoists’ leader CP Gajurel says- 'Baburam Bhattarai is not a member of the CA, so he cannot continue as PM.' In fact men always fear of fire, flood, mad men and dogs. Similarly in Nepal people fear the activities of Maoists’ including other political leaders. These leaders are now required not to speak and give opinions but retire as hermits. They must set an example to show others that they had blundered. That will be an achievement for the unsuccessful political leaders.
There are examples in abundance round the world proving that, as the interim constitution ends up previous constitution (of 1990) is automatically revived. After independence of Indonesia in 1949 election to the CA was held. Failure to promulgate the new constitution in stipulated time span compelled them to revert to an old constitution, and of course the constitution became active with required amendments. Similarly, in Pakistan CA election took place. For five years the CA dabbled with the work of drafting the new constitution inconclusively. They reverted to the 1935 constitution drafted by the English to announce fresh election. The constitution finally came through the newly elected parliament. In Britain the republic system ran from 1649 to 1661 and finally it collapsed. After 11 years, monarchy was reinstated with the constitution, law and system that was prevalent during the days preceding the republic. In Spain republic system was introduced in 1936, but in 1969 monarchy returned along with the old system. Likewise, Cambodia became republic in 1970 but eventually in 1993 the people chose the royal institution reinstating the established law and constitution preceding the 1970 revolution. Hence, the dissolution of the CA in Nepal means the revival of the 1990 constitution. The parliament abolished by the Nepali Congress led government was reinstated four years later after an agreement with the King on 24 April, 2011. Why shouldn’t we revive the 1990 constitution as it frees the nation from current crisis?
The causation of the current chaos results from the maladministration of the political parties after they misused the parliament that was reinstated after an agreement with the King ending the people’s uprising of 2006. Nepali language is established as the common language of all ethnic groups and protects the numerous mother tongues. Anyone who does not understand this truth will not understand Nepal’s nationality. Due to this reason the leaders that came to fore after 2006 failed. Leaders that betray their people politically will face dire consequences.
On 27 May, 2008 the then Home Minister Krishna Sitaula, even not being a member of the parliament (had lost the election) stood inside the parliament to declare republic. This was an unconstitutional act in itself. An individual having lost the election and not being member of the parliament has no right to participate at the parliament meeting. The Nepalese people have lost the passion to listen to or look at the faces of the leaders from Nepali Congress, UML, Maoists and the Madhesi parties. The 1990 constitution had been covered by an eclipse for some years. Since the CA is dissolved now, 1990 constitution has gained full legitimacy. Standing on the foundation of reinstated constitution we must form an inclusive cabinet that will lead the nation towards the solution.
We must bring out a name list of the Prime Ministers, ministers, secretaries, general directors, project chiefs, contractors and businessmen that embezzled high amount of money from the state treasury after 2006. With thorough deliberation on the corrupt leaders and the amount they embezzled, the Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) must be directed to arrest them for appropriate action. The seized money should be nationalized. It obvious that subjecting the traitors and anti-nationalist elements to minor punishment is not enough. In Haiti a strict form of punishment was introduced to discourage corruption when the nation plunged into excessive corruption. Mahesh Bikram Shah, a Nepalese police officer says “If a thief is caught stealing, the thief ought to be set on fire with the thing he stole. The people will punish the culprit for what is done. Then with fear of a horrific death the people will be discouraged from stealing”. Even in our context the traitors, criminals and thieves must be punished highly in order to save Nepal from such wolves.
Here I put forward some suggestions. (1) The state facilities given to parliament, CA, cabinet as per the interim constitution 2006 must be returned to the state. The money collected from the sweat and blood of citizens was used for a certain purpose which went unfulfilled. It should not be misused, and must be returned to the state. Failed to take such action it will be difficult to control the activities of criminals. (2) A law must be passed debarring the members of the parliament, CA and the cabinet from contesting the forthcoming general election and for five years from any election. (3) All facilities, decisions including citizenship act that have been burden over the nation, and introduced after the implementation of the controversial interim constitution must be repealed. (4) Foreigners must be prohibited from spending or distributing excessive amount of money. Foreign activities of such nature must be stopped. The state must take control of the international non governmental organizations and their funds. The state must control such foreign economic support and spend it scrupulously, for management of which, a separate body can be created at the Ministry for Local Development. In this way foreign activities can be checked and their intervention can be stopped.
Nepalese people do not want any kind of communist authoritarianism, they want only full democracy. The people are concerned of political stability, peace and good governance. Nepalese people no longer want the unconstitutional rule of the so called larger parties Maoists, Congress, UML, Madhesi. After the dead of CA, the constitutional provisions of 1990 constitution have been restored automatically. Nepal’s royal institution, Nepal Army and the people of Nepal are protector of Nepal and the enemy of imperialism and expansionism. The monarchy was pivotal in integrating Nepal, establishing democratic and equitable society at par with the modern world. Therefore, only this option will open the doors for political resolution in Nepal. Nationality is such a sensitive subject that it would be difficult to re-establish once it rolls down the slope. In the past, Nepal was defended at the joint initiative of the King and people. Now that thread of unity has snapped. To rescue this holy land from an imminent dark future all patriotic forces Nepalese monarchy and people, Nepal Army, the court and the chief organs of the state– must unite to commit themselves for the service of the nation.