Ad hoc ways

The major parties agreed to extend the five-year tenure by six more months after the NC found it impossible to hold its 13th general convention on time

The Constituent Assembly has extended four more days to the Constitution Drafting Committee (CDC) to prepare a final draft of the new constitution by Friday. The CA had no other option than to extend the CDC four more days as the Special Committee of the Constitutional Political-Dialogue and Consensus Committee (CPDCC) failed to resolve the key issues, including the boundaries of the six Pradeshes which have led the people to take to the streets in some parts of the country, especially in the far and mid-western regions. Top leaders of the Nepali Congress, CPN-UML, UCPN-Maoist and MJF-Democratic who are in the Special Committee have been holding marathon meetings for over a week to find out a solution acceptable to all the disgruntled parties or groups. But they have stuck to their guns over the boundaries of the federal units, particularly over the district of Kailali where the Tharus do not want to be part of the Pradesh No-6. The people in the Karnali Zone however want to create a separate Pradesh accommodating the hilly districts of Bheri Zone due to their proximity with each other. These are the two areas where influential leaders of the ruling parties have special political interest that they do not want to give up.

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No one can blame that the Special Committee has done nothing to iron out the disputes over the boundaries of the federal units and other thorny issues, including the provision on citizenship, reappointment of the constitutional bodies and Supreme Court and replacing the term of “secularism” with that of “religious freedom” to discourage conversion to any alien religion. These are some of the achievements made since last week. But they should have first addressed the issues of the boundaries of the federal units without which the new constitution cannot be delivered and the nation cannot move forward. The genuine suggestions given by the people should be adhered to. Concerns of the Karnali region should be given due consideration as this region has been lagging behind in terms of the development index.

While discussing the boundaries of the Pradeshes, the major parties have made a constitutional blunder by allowing the political parties to extend six more months even after the expiry of a five-year term of their central committee under “unavoidable circumstances”. In democracy, legitimacy of any political party can be judged only from its periodic general convention that elects its new leadership which ultimately is in a position to lead the government. The major parties agreed to extend the five-year tenure by six more months after the ruling NC found it impossible to hold its 13th general convention by September when its five-year term expires. Good governance, rule of law and political parties’ accountability to the people cannot be ensured unless the parties themselves keep their internal organizations in order through periodic elections in time. Unified CPN-Maoist is no exception when it comes to holding its general convention which has been put on hold for over a decade. There must be a constitutional provision that bars the postponement of any political party’s general convention beyond the tenure fixed.

Promote sports

The seventh National Games are to be held in the Eastern Region later this year from November 27 to December 4. Apart from cricket and football other sports in the country get only lukewarm response. The games to be held in several cities of the Eastern Region would be participated in by eight teams, five from the development regions and three departmental teams. Four more sports are to be added and one of the two taekwondo disciplines is to be removed as the games are similar in nature. There will be a total of 35 disciplines in the Games. The NSC has been allocated Rs. 230 million to host the game while it says it needs at least Rs. 280 million.

It will be asking the government to provide another Rs. 50 to enable to hold the games with the increase in venues and number of sports for this event. The four disciplines that have been added are Sepaktakraw, Kho Kho, Fencing and the Triathlon. If the NSC can manage the funds four disciplines, namely rock climbing, dance sports, rugby and Samo would be included as possible demonstration disciplines.

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