EDITORIAL: Historic tenure

Periodic elections are the bedrock of democracy delivering services to the people and laying foundations of developments through people’s participation

The second Constituent Assembly, which also doubled as Parliament after the promulgation of the new constitution on September 20, 2015, has been successful as it has been able to accomplish its single mission of drafting the federal democratic republican constitution within the set deadline. The second CA, the election of which was held on November 19, 2013, has also been able to address key concerns of diverse societies who felt being isolated or marginalized from mainstream politics, economic opportunities and inclusion in all sectors. Federalism, secularism, inclusion and republican order are the specialty of the new constitution for which the Nepali people fought for the last 70 years. This historic assembly was converted into the Legislature-Parliament after it successfully adopted the new constitution. The four-year term of the second CA or Parliament came to an end one day before the filing of nomination under the proportional representation system for the 275-member House of Representatives. Political parties yesterday submitted their close list at the Election Commission for 110 members to be elected under the PR. The EC has also set October 22 as the date for filing of nominations under the First-Past-the-Post (FPtP) under which 165 members will be elected on November 26 and December 7.

The Parliament started its work five days after the promulgation of the new constitution, and it elected the president, vice-president, prime minister, speaker and deputy-speaker. Three sessions of Parliament were held after 2015 which also elected three prime ministers led by the three major political parties. During that period the parliament held 666 meetings which endorsed as many as 56 bills, including the bill on local level government, provincial assembly election and House of Representatives. But it failed to pass a bill for the election of a National Assembly due to differences of opinions among major parties over its voting system. The government may bring an ordinance on an election system of the National Assembly to be endorsed by the elected HoR. Meanwhile, Parliament also passed landmark bills on Civil Code, Civil Procedural Code and Criminal Code, making  sweeping reforms in old civil and criminal codes introduced by the then prime minister Jung Bahadur Rana 164 years ago.

As the second CA and transformed Parliament have accomplished their jobs within the stipulated time, the EC, government and all political parties must focus their attention towards making the upcoming general and provincial elections a grand success. There should be no confusion about holding the elections which will, in the real sense, institutionalise the hard-earned achievements inscribed in the constitution. Learning lessons from past experiences, the political parties should also field the best of their candidates in the elections who can help lead the nation towards prosperity and stability. Periodic elections are the bedrock of democracy delivering services to the people and laying foundations of developments through people’s participation at different layers. The recently-held local level elections have proved that people are eager to elect their officials from the grass-roots to the federal level. All the misgivings and political uncertainty will be overcome once the general and provincial elections are held in a free, fair and peaceful manner and new governments are formed at all levels.

Provide education

Children who are hearing-impaired in the far-western and mid-western regions are not provided with education beyond class VIII. There is only one school for them at Birendranagar, Surkehet. There are no sufficiently trained teachers enough to teach such children beyond the primary level. So these students have no other option than to drop school which is indeed very tragic. Even this school is in a dilapidated condition. Besides it does not have resources to teach the children as a result of which the guardians of children in this school often have to chip in and provide money to pay its staff. The number of classroom is also not sufficient.

As such, the government needs to step in and open more schools for children whose hearing is impaired. Meanwhile, the District Education Office says that it would be granting permission to run more schools for them up to senior classes.