Sunday, 14 April, 2024

Bolster Republican Order

Nepal is on robust path of consolidating the federal republican set-up in line with the new constitution promulgated in 2015. The three-tier elections held in 2017 proved a milestone in institutionalising the achievements of past movements and revolutions. For the first time, the nation formed governments at three layers of administration – federal, provincial and local. Evolution of local governments marked a big step in strengthening the grassroots democracy. The constitution has granted more than 22 executive rights to the local bodies to enable them to effectively deliver services to the people. Similarly, the provincial governments in seven provinces have decentralised powers to expedite development and promote good governance, thereby lessening the burden of centre to oversee the overall affairs of the state. Several administrative structures at the provinces have significant role in buttressing federal administration that is based on the principle of shared and self-rule.

Major political parties, including Nepali Congress (NC), CPN-Maoist Centre, CPN-UML and Rastriya Prajatantra Party (RPP) have recently concluded their national conventions. Except RPP, all major forces have committed to the federal republican system. The coalition government that has the backing of five political parties has expressed commitment to institutionalising the past political achievements by implementing the constitution. The present government came into existence after the Supreme Court reinstated the House of Representatives (HoR) dissolved by former prime minister and UML chair KP Sharma Oli. When the HoR was dissolved twice, it risked weakening the constitution and new political set-up. However, the court ruling saved the parliament and the constitution.

Still there are attempts to reverse the gains documented by the national charter. Such a bid goes against the spirit of Janaandolan-II and the constitution written by the elected Constituent Assembly. Against this backdrop, the CPN-Maoist Centre has called for implementing the constitution to consolidate the federal republican system. The party’s 8th national convention has adopted 45-point resolution on contemporary issues and put forth an array of demands related to politics, electoral system, foreign relations and people’s livelihood, among others. According to the news report published in this daily Wednesday, the Maoist Centre has demanded universal acceptance and effective implementation of the constitution. It made public the resolution the other day, urging the concerned stakeholders to be aware of ill-intended efforts to turn the republican order upside down.

Similarly, the Maoist Centre has demanded that its agenda of directly elected executive and fully proportional electoral system be addressed. It had raised these issues during the drafting of the constitution. The political parties took the middle course and agreed on improved parliamentary system. The Maoist Centre has drawn the attention of main opposition CPN-UML towards the latter’s continued obstruction in the parliament. The House disruption has impeded the formulation of vital laws necessary to implement federal system. Its other demands include conclusion of the remaining tasks of peace process, works of Truth and Reconciliation Commission and Commission for the Investigation of Disappeared People, and the implementation of the Federal Civil Service Act, Province Civil Service Act and Local Service Operation Act. Several points of resolution are related to bolstering the federalism, rule of law, territorial integrity and rights of Dalits. There is no reason for the parties not to find a common ground to implement them. They require moving ahead with broader consultations and consensus to this end.