Draft feedback collection comes to an end

CA panel to seek more time to prepare its report on suggestions


Constituent Assembly Secretariat today concluded collection of people’s opinions from within and outside the country with overwhelming and enthusiastic participation of people despite some obstruction from a few parties and groups at some places.

Stating that it would be difficult to prepare report tomorrow itself, the CA panel is likely to take two more days for preparing report on the suggestions although the CA’s Committee on Citizen Relations and Public Opinion Collection is mandated to complete its report tomorrow itself and submit it to CA Chairman Subas Chandra Nembang on Thursday.

Although scheduled public hearings could not take place at a few places in Tarai districts due to obstruction from a few fringe parties, CA members won’t go there again to take people’s feedback, according to CA Secretariat sources. The working procedure passed by the CA full house on July 9 has it that the CA panel can prepare its report even if any scheduled public hearing does not take place due to unfavourable climate or any other reason.

The CA Secretariat has received feedback from 26,496 individuals or organisations from within and outside the country on its website, email, fax, toll-free number and directly at the CA Secretariat, according to CA Secretariat’s spokesperson Bharat Raj Gautam. Nepali embassies abroad also organised feedback collection programmes and their reports are yet to come, according to him. “Since one day is insufficient for preparing report, the panel will request the CA chairman tomorrow to provide some more time for preparing the report,” Gautam said.

“We collected people’s opinions as national campaign and it completed successfully in a historic way. This campaign created massive activities in villages across the country and among Nepalis abroad,” CA Chairman Nembang told THT, adding he would talk to panel members tomorrow about how to adjust time for preparing report.

All major organisations, including governmental and non-governmental ones, provided written suggestions to the CA, according to Nembang. Supreme Court, Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority, Nepali Army, Nepal Police, Armed Police Force, National Human Rights Commission, National Information Commission and other commissions, Nepal Bar Association, organisations of media and journalists and indigenous communities and several rights-based organisations submitted their written suggestions. “I have been receiving suggestions from various organisations on regular basis and 10 organisations are scheduled to submit written documents tomorrow,” said Nembang.

He called on dissident parties of the CA to participate in the CA process, as consensus can still be achieved and draft constitution can still be amended. “The changes or corrections can be made by the Constitutional-Political Dialogue and Consensus Committee, Constitution Drafting Committee and by amendment proposals of individual CA members before endorsing the constitution from the CA full house. Even if the dissident parties are unable to include their wishes now, they can amend the provisions as per the people’s mandate later from the Parliament,” Nembang said.

NBA’s recommendations for constitution

  • Office bearers of constitutional bodies should be reappointed after the new constitution is promulgated and they should remain in office until new appointments are made as per the new constitution
  • CA should demarcate the boundaries of the provinces before promulgating the new constitution
  • There should be a provision of providing citizenship certificate in the name of either father or mother if either parent is a Nepali citizen
  • Either the Constitutional Court should be made in accordance with international standards or there should be a separate five-member Constitutional Bench in the Supreme Court instead of a separate Constitutional Court
  • Chief of Nepali Army should be ex-officio member of National Security Council
  • Chairpersons of wards of local bodies should be directly elected; out of president, vice-president, chairperson and vice-chairperson of local government, at least one should be a woman
  • The number of Supreme Court justices should be increased from 15 to 21; there should be 15 judges in a high court
  • The term “sexual orientation” should be removed from Article 23 of fundamental rights
  • A provision should be added so that retrospective law can be brought to deal with crimes of serious nature
  • Not only jail inmates, but all individuals should be protected from torture
  • The term “enemy nation” should be removed from Article 28
  • Right to conversion should be removed from Article 31
  • Instead of the term “progressive tax”, Article 30 should mention that tax will be imposed on the basis of income
  • “Dissemination” should be added after “demand and receive information” under Right to Information of Article 32
  • “Braille script” under the right for hearing impaired should be replaced with “appropriate means”
  • The provision of Article 66(5) to select the President from lottery system if both of the candidates garnered equal votes in the second round of election should be removed, as there is no chance of such a happening in the given election system
  • There should be at least five per cent threshold in Parliament and three per cent threshold in state assemblies for the representation of a party under the PR system
  • The provision of not allowing vote-of-no-confidence motion in the Parliament against a prime minister for two years should be changed to one year
  • The PM should be given the authority to dissolve House of Representative except when a vote-of-no-confidence motion is registered against him/her
  • A state’s chief should at least be a graduate