EDITORIAL: Win confidence

In order to implement the new constitution all the political parties must forge consensus on the bills related to elections, Election Commission and political parties

Functions of the Legislature-Parliament include making laws, passing the fiscal budget and forming the government.

It is the duty of Parliament to make new laws, amendments to old ones or to repeal the existing ones in accordance with the prevailing context or provisions of the new constitution.

Lawmakers discuss the bills in their respective parliamentary committees or in a full house of parliament. But some of the bills tabled in Parliament long ago remain redundant and require new bills to replace them.

Going by the records at the Parliament Secretariat as many as 40 bills tabled by the previous government, well before the promulgation of the new constitution on September 20 last year, have been gathering dust as the new government did not feel it necessary to move them forward.

Only two bills relating to the formation of National Reconstruction Authority (NRA) and the first amendment to the new constitution on delineation of parliamentary constituencies based on population and geography passed through Parliament in the previous parliamentary session.

Other bills, including the amendment to replace the Muluki Ain (Civil Code) with that of “civil and criminal codes”, and the bill on public procurement have not been tabled in Parliament.

It is the concerned minister and the Council of Ministers who need to take initiatives to table the bills in Parliament. Some of the bills tabled earlier by the erstwhile government have become redundant with the promulgation of the new constitution.

Only those bills prioritized by the government are pushed through the legislature. At present, no other bills not related to implementation of the new constitution seem important given the time constraint.

Parliament has to pass over 100 bills to hold elections of the local bodies, provincial assembly and federal parliament (House of Representatives and National Assembly) and president.

The tenure of the Legislature-Parliament will end within 20 months. All the bills related to holding five different types of elections need to be passed well before January 21, 2017.

So, the government, Parliament and the political parties do not have much time left for them to prepare legal ground to implement the new constitution.

The new constitution does not have any constitutional provision under which the tenure of the incumbent legislature can be further extended beyond January 21, 2017.

It is, therefore, imperative that the political parties pass the new bills related to the elections at the earliest. The parties are now required to speed up the process of passing all election-related bills six months ahead of the elections.

The new constitution will be considered to have been implemented in the real sense only after all levels of elections are held as per the constitutional provisions.

In order to implement the new constitution all the political parties must forge consensus on the bills related to elections, Election Commission and political parties.

It would be appropriate to deliberate on these bills after the fiscal budget is passed.

The government must win the confidence of main opposition and disgruntled parties who are still in agitation demanding changes in the constitution to pass the bills that will pave the ground for fresh elections after 2017.

Polio challenge

The World Health Organization South-East Asia Region switching from the traditionally used trivalent oral vaccine to bivalent oral vaccine has proved to be a success in making the region polio free.

The bivalent oral vaccine is effective in providing protection against any wild polio virus strains.

This region had been declared polio-free in March 2014 although there is a risk of importing the disease from countries in which polio is still endemic. At this point of time we are very near to eliminate polio in all its forms.

The switch made to the second polio vaccine has made it possible to eliminate polio. This would be a major achievement, and this vaccine is closer to eradicating all types of polio.

The 11 countries of the region, including Nepal, has also made the switch in the administering of the second type of polio vaccine which has proved to be effective, and the surfacing of the disease would be rare.

Efforts should be made worldwide to protect the children from being infected with the polio virus.

Credit goes to those involved in the campaign for fighting this disease through meticulous planning.