Challenges galore before CDC

KATHMANDU: Although major political forces have agreed on the disputed issues and the Constitution Drafting Committee will begin work on the first draft of the statute from Sunday, the panel has a pile of challenges.

Finalising certain terminologies to be inserted in the draft, amicably managing the viewpoints of parties within and outside the four parties that reached the 16-point deal on June 8 and following the principles of constitutionalism while arranging provisions are some of the challenges before CDC.

Even the signatories of the 16-point deal have differences in choice of words and various concepts related to constitutional provisions.

Despite various challenges, the CDC has to begin its task Sunday and accomplish it within 15 days, CDC Chairman Krishna Prasad Sitaula told THT.

“Although the major parties have agreed on key aspects of the contents of disputed issues,many issues are yet to be settled and arranged. The leaders agreed on the tentative content, but CDC has to present them as they would appear exactly in the statute,” said CDC member Radheshyam Adhikari. Since, CDC has to decide on  the nitty-gritty, it is challenging, he said. The CA, while forwarding the draft of consensus to the CDC yesterday, mandated it to settle the lapses and gaps, he said.

Stating that constitution writing is a craft as well, Adhikari said a team of skillful drafters should be arranged. “There were some skillful hands like Bishwanath Upadhyay, who led the task of drafting the 1990 constitution. However, the CDC does not have such hands now, so it needs an advisory body of experienced people to make the drafting smooth and error-free,” Adhikari said.

Although, the CDC has already accomplished 80 per cent of the task, apart from forms of governance, state restructuring, judicial system and election system, it will have to present the concepts in constitutional language, said CDC member from UML Krishna Bhakta Pokharel.

Settling the choice of terminologies and language is not an easy job, according to UCPN-M member of the CDC Ram Narayan Bidari. “For instance, leaders have agreed to the eight-Pradesh model. However, whether or not to write federal autonomous provinces is something CDC will have to decide,” he said.

The CDC has many policy issues to settle as well. “Whether to mention the provision of reappointment of chiefs and office bearers of constitutional bodies after the new statute comes into effect in the draft of the constitution is an issue. However, neither the 16-point pact nor any other agreement has settled this,” said Bidari.

Since CDC is not the final authority of the parties they represent, it must constantly sit with top leaders to settle many issues that come in the way of drafting, Bidari said.