Constitutional Reform Vital to End National Crisis of Nepal

The Parliamentary Parties Should Correct their Past Mistakes to End the National Crisis of Nepal

We should have to analyze the causes of retrogression of Nepal in a serious light. After the uprising in 1989 and the promulgation of the 1990 constitution the general elections took place. After the 1991 parliamentary elections nine extreme communists as Janamorcha’s Krishna Bahadur Mahara, Lilamani Pokharel and Amik Sherchan became lawmakers which infuriated Girija Prasad Koirala. In the local elections in 1992 when Girija Prasad had been Prime Minister and Sher Bahadur Deuba the Home Minister, the extreme communists from Janamorcha captured 5-6 districts. Then a high level meeting was called at the PM’s residence attended by Home Minister, police chief and even the lawmakers of the concerned districts. They took the decision to suppress the communists and gave out directions to depress selected police officials. But later people were suppressed in name of communists. The state created terrorism in the villages which gave rise to Maoists’ rebellion. At that time, Baburam Bhattarai had taken an active role in the rebellion. The activists of Nepali Congress, CPN (UML) and police were kidnapped and murdered while the villages were pillaged.

The nation plunged into violence. There was internal fighting within NC. Girija Prasad Koirala dissolved the parliament when NC was in the majority. The retrogression of Nepal started during Girija Prasad’s term. Then UML came to power after the general elections. Prime Minister Manmohan Adhikary dissolved the parliament when owning to jealousy NC was preparing to bring motion of no confidence. The then Supreme Court’s Chief Justice Bishwonath Upadhya took a decision to revive the parliament defining it in a nonsensical aspect.

Then NC leader Sher Bahadue Deuba became the PM. Then an episode of bloodbath ensued in the nation in name of destroying the Maoists. There was much corruption in the nation and Sher Bahadur drowned the nation in corruption. After Sher Bahadur the former Panchas – Lokendra Bahadur Chand and Surya Bahadur Thapa became the premiers. The nation’s plight continued to deteriorate. Then again Girija became the PM. As the nation was engulfed in a wild fire the royal palace massacre took place.

After the royal palace massacre the Maoists’ in Nepal came under the influence of Indian intelligence ‘RAW’ with the initiative taken by the then RAW chief at the Indian Embassy P Harmij and U-Maoists’ leader (pro-Indian) Baburam Bhattarai. The understanding between the Indian Embassy and Maoists was facilitated as Baburam, Prachanda and many Maoists’ leaders were Christians and P Harmij also was a Christian. After the royal palace massacre, as a reward, P Harmij was promoted to the chief of RAW and Maoists’ used against Nepal. In November 2005 the 12 point understanding took place. The uprising started on that very foundation and Nepal’s misfortune worsened from this period.

In April 24, 2006 the uprising that started in 2005 came to an end after an agreement with the King. Within a month after taking oath of office as the PM with the King under the 1990 constitution Girija, who had also led the uprising, violated the agreement with the King and discredited the oath. The objective for which the 1990 uprising had taken place was reversed. On the 14 August, 2009 edition of Kantipur daily Sarojraj Adhikary wrote-‘The Indian former minister, parliamentarians provided economic and military support to Nepal’s armed rebels. The support of the Madhesi leaders for Indian language and One Madhes One State is also a dangerous Indian design.’ In Nepal’s worsening plight after 1995, NC UML and former Panchas as Surya Bahadur Thapa, Pashupai Shumsher of RPP all contributed by taking a wrong path.

Although the CA elections of 19 November, 2013 were unconstitutional, the Nepali people gave excessive votes to NC and UML after 18 years against ethnic federalism and One Madhes One State and to free themselves of Indian conspiracy to disintegrate Nepal. They voted for the 1990 constitution by voting for those who had created it. That vote is with the implication calling on the leaders to not forget Congress leaders B.P Koirala, Ganeshman Singh, Krishna Prasad Bhattarai and Communist-UML leaders Manmohan Adhikary and Madan Bhandari.

It is sad that the period between 2006 and 2013 is a dark period when anti-nationalist activities took place. UML leaders Madhav Kumar Nepal, Bamdev Gautam, Jhalanath Khanal after the 12 point understanding reached in November, 2005 became subservient to Maoist leaders Prachanda and Baburam as per the Indian directive. They irrigated falsehood. Despite being wrong the people voted them and made them win in the 2013 elections. They did not vote because they are good. It is a message to them not to participate in anti-nationalist activity by tailing the Maoists’ supported by India. Unless we are sincere and loyal towards the nation and the people, the nation will not gain anything with constitutional reform and ideology.

If the NC and UML had adopted the 1990 constitution which they had helped create and which envisioned a balance of power between nationality, royal institution and democracy, the nation would have taken a different course. Girija institutionalized corruption in the nation. He sold all the industries aided by China that were in profit. To please India and for commission he sold them. He destroyed the Nepal Airlines Corporation and for his daughter Sujata Koirala committed treacherous acts and even taught others the ways of corruption. He thought that the uprising for democracy was for earning money and luxury.

The senior journalist Yuvraj Ghimire has written-‘The one who is most responsible in this is Girija Prasad Koirala. The uprising in 1950 and 1989 were both launched with the objective of parliamentary democracy and constitutional monarchy. The Maoists’ in presence of Shekhar Koirala and Krishna Sitaula lured Girija with the position of President. For that selfish motive he discarded the policy and values and norms enshrined by Nepali Congress.’ Similarly, advocate Kumar Regmi wrote-‘The King reinstated the parliament. To dissolve or boycott it is ideologically and morally incorrect’ But the leaders in NC and UML feigned indifference and remained mute spectators as the nation drowned.

The process of election is compulsory to guide the nation in path of democracy and elections must be held in a constitutional way. Elections were held in 2007 to make a new constitution through the Constituent Assembly. Billions were spent for that purpose. The process of election took place with incidents of vote rigging and excessive fear of the Maoists. Many bandits, criminals, murderers, robbers and those who had not even heard the name of constitution were elected. Despite knowing this fact the people did not show any reaction. For sake of new constitution everyone remained silent. But the Constituent Assembly was dissolved after four years and without a new constitution. The cabinet, CA members and political leaders spent the time dividing the share of state facilities and in earning more facilities. After 2006, the leaders of the ruling parties, even after their shameful failure, again with same faces launched another campaign for CA elections.

We cannot trust those leaders to draft a new constitution when they failed for four years. Once the CA failed to draft a new constitution and now again the parties are forcing for a new constitution through another CA. What kind of intimidation is this? Despite many defects in the 1990 constitution we could have amended it. But the sad thing, no one has put their mind to that aspect. In reality drafting a new constitution is not an issue needing focus in this country. Could we not guide the nation under the 1990 constitution with necessary reforms? All these political developments are part of foreign conspiracy to destabilize Nepal through CA elections and manipulate it.

For holding the second CA Supreme Court’s Chief Justice, Khilraj Regmi, was appointed the head of state in an unconstitutional manner. It was not legitimate. Although the second CA elections were held under Indian government’s pressure the people voted for the creators of 1990 constitution and against Indian intervention. We must understand the vote of the people although the election was unconstitutional. It means that a high level Constitutional Advisory Committee must be formed in the elected CA and by retaining the unchangeable points of the 1990 constitution it needs to be discussed and approved.

There are no other alternatives. Again if we feign indifference and tread the path of republic, secularism and federalism the nation will not find an outlet. The Nepali people will not back down from shedding their blood for their nation. In the seven years following the unfortunate disposition of monarchy it is now clear that the nation needs a parliamentary democracy and constitutional monarchy. A new constitution will never be formulated from this CA. The nation is about to drown due to the slogans of republic, secularism and ethnic federalism that came after 2005. The people voted for the creators of 1990 constitution in the elections held in 2013 to save the nation. The Nepali people have already understood that a new constitution will not be drafted from the CA. We cannot always keep the country in a state of constitutional vacuum. The 1990 constitution must be reformed to respect the people’s votes in the elections held in November 2013 and a new constitution approved.

D.R. Prasai
Dirgha Raj Prasai is a former Member of Parliament in Nepal, a political analyst who writes from Kathmandu.