Incomplete draft to be submitted

KATHMANDU: After failing to sort out differences on some key issues to be incorporated in the new constitution, the 19-member sub-committee of the Constitutional Committee (CC) concluded its last meeting today.

The sub-committee remained divided even to name the new constitution and define the nation.

With this, the sub-committee headed by the UCPN-Maoist Constituent Assembly (CA) member Dev Prasad Gurung, has to submit an incomplete concept paper and preliminary draft to the CC’s full meeting tomorrow. It was supposed to complete its tasks by September 16.

Regarding the definition of the nation, the Maoist members said that the country should be defined as a “multi-nations state”, while Nepali Congress and CPN-UML members insisted that it should be defined simply as a “nation state”.

Other CA members opined that the country should be defined as a “multi-ethnic nation state”. Some of the CA members, who want to keep Nepal as a Hindu nation, viewed that it was not necessary to call the country a secular state.

The committee includes four members from UCPN-Maoist, two each from NC and UML and one member each from other smaller parties.

The committee remained undecided on what should be the name of the country’s new constitution as seven different names were suggested during the discussion. The suggestions were: Constitution of Nepal, Constitution of the Republic of Nepal, Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nepal, Constitution of Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal, Constitution of the People’s Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal, Constitution of Socialism-oriented Nepal and Constitution of Democratic Republic of Nepal.

The shape of the national flag and definition of the symbols used in it were other bone of contention. The Maoists insisted that the existing double-triangular-shaped flag embedded with the moon and the sun should be replaced with a rectangular shape with equal number of stars representing the number of provincial states.

While, NC and UML were of the opinion that the existing unique flag should be kept intact, albeit with a new definition of the symbols used. The panel could not reach an understanding on the national symbols as well.

The panel, however, agreed on getting an approval of the provincial assembly when any Article related to rights enjoyed by the provincial assemblies are to be amended.

The panel also agreed that a ban would be imposed on any political outfit holding views against pluralism, multiparty democracy and competitive politics. But the Maoist CA members expressed their reservation on “pluralism”.

Tek Prasad Dhungana, CC secretary, said the

contentious issues would be discussed at CC’s full meeting. He said CC concept paper would be presented before the House before Tihar.