Major parties differ on legislature structure, powers

KATHMANDU: Legislature, executive and judiciary are the three major pillars of democracy. If the three are not free of influence they cannot work effectively.

Similarly, if they are not controlled by each other, misuse of power may occur and autocracy may creep in. To check that, scholars of political science have propounded the principle of separation of powers. It means the three bodies should be able to function freely without intervention but should be controlled by one another.

The Constituent Assembly is dwelling on the size, power and structure of the legislature to be provisioned in the new constitution. The CA Committee to Determine the Structure of Legislative Bodies has submitted

its initial draft to the CA for discussion in full CA meeting on Thursday. However, there are differences on many issues in the draft, as the largest party, Unified CPN-Maoist, and a few lawmakers have offered divergent views on the committee’s draft.

Most of the issues are interrelated with the working area of the Committee to Determine the Structure of Governance of State and the Committee to Restructure the State and Share State Power. However, both the committees have not completed their tasks yet.

Though, the draft was approved

by a majority vote from the committee before submitting it for discussion

in full CA, the crucial issues remain unresolved, as the UCPN-M has

many differences on fundamental questions - nature, structure, name, formation process and rights of legislature. Even a single letter cannot be written in the new constitution without the Maoist support since two-third majority is required to pass any decision and nearly 40 per cent CA members are with the UCPN-M.

The UCPN-M wants to make the legislative body the most powerful among the three pillars of democracy, whereas the other parties back the principle of separation of powers while allocating power to the legislative body. If the power of judiciary and executive were curtailed and given to the legislative body, the two bodies will not work freely and effectively. The legislative body may become autocratic if the system of checks and balances among the three major bodies is weak.