Want the Constitution Quickly?: Let the Current Government Continue

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Hardly one month has passed since the 19 November elections for the Constituent Assembly II, the popular hope and enthusiasm that the CA II will write a new constitution within six months to a year has already been dissipating in the political rough and tumble of Kathmandu. The only way to get the constitution as promised, it seems, is to let the current bureaucratic government continue until the task is complete.

There are three options about government and the constitution. The ideal and best option would be for the elected leaders to form government and to write a new statute with next six months to a year, as most parties have promised in their manifesto. The second best option would be to let the bureaucratic government continue
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It could work well neither as a legislature nor as a constitution writing body. The Indian CA headed by two different speakers, one for making law and the other for drafting the statue – could, it is argued, be a good model to follow.

But we should not forget that India did it in a different set of circumstances: The CA was elected by provincial assemblies; had only 299 members; had 69 percent members from the Indian Congress alone; and was led by a visionary leader Dr. Rejendra Prasad. The government was led by the illustrious and enlightened leader Jawaharlal Nehru.

While it is not impossible – nothing is impossible, as Napoleon Bonaparte has said – to achieve what India did, it will be very hard in Nepal, where we have a completely different slew of circumstances: In the composition, membership and quality of leadership of the CA and in the quality of government stewardship. You can hardly expect a similar outcome from drastically different circumstances.

That leaves us with the second best option. Although it sounds anti-climactic and anti-democratic at a time when the newly elected leaders are restless to reclaim the saddle of government, it will ensure a quick writing of the law of land paving the way for early elections for regular parliament under the new provisions and elected government.

Despite its failure to deliver the constitution, the CA to

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