|Constituent Assembly of Nepal|
The Politics of Nepal function within a framework of a republic with a multi-party system. Currently, the position of President (head of state) is occupied by Ram Baran Yadav. The position of Prime Minister(head of the government) is held by Dr. Baburam Bhattarai. Executive power is exercised by the Prime Minister and his cabinet, while legislative power is vested in the Constituent Assembly. Baburam Bhattarai is an ex-terrorist who had interpol Red Corner notice issued against him. The Supreme Court of Nepal has declared the government of Nepal to be illegal and unconstitutional as the latter has kept extending it’s governing tenure by bringing in innumerable amendments to the constitution. The justice system of Nepal has blamed the government for continuous contempt of court.Until May 28, 2008, Nepal was a constitutional monarchy.On that date, the constitution was altered by the Constituent Assembly to make the country a republic.The 601-member Constituent Assembly of Nepal was established by Nepal‘s interim constitution in 2007 to draft a new permanent constitution for the country and serve as its interim legislature.
Nepalese constituent assembly election was held on April 10, 2008 after two failure attempts since the end of direct rule of king Gyanendra.The assembly will have 601 members – 240 elected under first-part-the-post system, 335 elected under proportional representative system and 26 to be nominated by the council of ministers.The election gave victory to Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) who had been raising the demands of a constituent assembly since it waged civil war in 1996.Maoist won 120 seats in FPTP and secured over 30 percent of the total votes caste under PR system. The election commission is yet to announce the seat distribution under the PR system.The election swept away Nepali Congress, that ruled for most of the years after the restoration of democracy in 1990, and Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist Leninist), expected to be the largest party after the polls.
The constituent assembly will abolish the monarchy, which ruled Nepal for the last 240 years, Shah dynasty. King Gyanendra Bir Bkram Bikram Shah will be the last king of this dynasty.Additionally, the assembly will write new constitution for Nepal, supposed to be communist dominated.The assembly is composed of 23 political parties. Nepali Congress, CPN (UML) and Madhesi Jahadhikar Forum including the Maoist are the major parties agreed to write a constitution to replace the interim one within 2 years. However, uncooperative and “selfish” behavior of the political parties has been cited as the major cause behind the de-railing of the peace process.
|Ram Baran Yadav
Almost two months after Nepal was declared a republic, lawmakers Monday voted Ram Baran Yadav, a physician, as its first ever president. Yadav, who is in his 60s, was declared the president in a runoff election after none of the three candidates could get a majority in the first round held on Saturday, announced Kul Bahadur Gurung, chairman of the constituent assembly. Yadav was the general secretary of the Nepali Congress party and belongs to the ethnic minority Madhesi group from Nepal’s troubled southern region. Nepal’s first-ever President Ram Baran Yadav took the oath of office Wednesday, two days after his election. Yadav, a physician in his 60s, was elected president on Monday by Nepal’s constituent assembly, almost two months after the country was declared a republic, putting an end to the 239-year-old monarchy. People lined the streets, which were emptied of vehicles, as the presidential motorcade drove about five miles (8 km) from Yadav’s home to the presidential offices. He was driven in the bulletproof vehicle previously used by Nepal’s kings.
|Pushpa Kamal Dahal
The Maoists, as the largest party of the country, took power right after the elections and named Pushpa Kamal Dahal (Prachanda) as the Prime Minister of the country. CPN UML also joined this government, but the Nepali Congress took the part of the main opposition party. People soon saw that the country’s situation deteriorated and political turmoils were in store.Prachanda soon fell into a dispute with the then army chief Rookmangud Katwal and decided to sack him. But the President Ram Baran Yadav, as the supreme head of military power in the country, revoked this decision and gave the army chief additional time in office. An angry Prachanda and his party quit the government, majorly citing this reason and decided to operate as the main opposition to the government headed by CPN UML and its co-partner Nepali Congress afterwards. Madhav Kumar Nepal was named the Prime Minister.The Maoists have been to this date demanding civilian supremacy.Nearly after 6 and half months of being on the Prime Minister of Nepal,Jhalanath Khanal finally resigned today by submitting resignation to president Dr Ram Baran Yadav. Khanal himself had previously set the deadline to resign by 13th of August if he couldn’t advance the peace process, which he failed to execute yesterday. Surprisingly, after a central committee meeting of his own party Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist Leninist), Jahalanath Khanal announced his resignation from the post.
|Madhav Kumar Nepal|
The Maoists have been forcing closures – commonly known as bandhs(strike) – in the country, and have also declared autonomous states for almost all the ethnic groups in Nepal – seen as a part of revenge against the action that foiled their decision to sack the army chief.Political leaders continue to discuss plans to end this turmoil, but none of the talks have been successful. Rising inflation, economic downturn, poverty, insecurity and uncertainty are the major problems. Many analysts opine that freedom has brought anarchy to the country. Many doubt that the political parties will succeed in writing a constitution
The United Democratic Madhesi Front’s support played a decisive role in Dr. Bhattarai’s win, based on a four-point agreement reached earlier today between the UCPN (Maoist) and the Front on matters relating to peace, constitution and a coalition government. Voting in favour of Dr. Bhattarai were the Madhesi Janadhikar Forum Nepal, the CPN (ML-Socialist), the Rastriya Janamorcha, the CPN (Unified), the CPN (United), the Samajbadi Janata Dal, the Nepal Pariwar Dal, the Nepal Sadbhawana Party (Giri), the Rastriya Janamukti Party and the Nepal Democratic Socialist Manch, besides his party the UCPN (Maoist).Later on the Maoists was seen to have fragmented on two sides from within,not legally as a separate party. The one was the side of Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal (Prachanda) and the other one is of Mohan Bhaidhya(Kiran). Vice-chairman of the UCPN (Maoist), Dr. Baburam Bhattarai was elected the Prime Minister of Nepal. In the elections held at the meeting of the Legislature-Parliament, Dr. Bhattarai won with 340 votes. His only contender, Nepali Congress Vice-president Ram Chandra Poudel garnered 235 votes. A total of 575 votes were cast today out of the total 594 members present in the Legislature-Parliament.
Responding to a writ petition, Nepal’s Supreme Court on May 24,2012 on Thursday issued an interim stay order against the government’s proposal to amend the interim constitution and extend the term of the Constituent Assembly. A single bench of Chief Justice Khila Raj Regmi passed the order.On November 25, the Court had issued an order in name of the chairman of the Constituent Assembly, the Prime Minister and Office of Council of Ministers, declaring that the extension of the CA, ending on May 27, would be the last one and the CA must promulgate the constitution within the stipulated deadline. If the CA failed to do so, said the Court, its term would end, and there should either be fresh elections for a new CA, or referendum or any other ‘appropriate arrangements’ according to the constitution. A review petition filed against the decision, on the grounds that this was entirely a political decision beyond the prerogative of the judiciary, was quashed by the Court.
On Tuesday, an all-party meeting agreed to initiate the process to amend the interim constitution and extend the CA’s term by another three months. The Cabinet endorsed the decision, and tabled an amendment bill in the legislature-Parliament accordingly. The Nepali Congress and Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist Leninist) have since backtracked from the agreement, and opposed an extension.In its verdict on Thursday, the Supreme Court said instead of taking steps towards the alternatives it proposed — elections, referendum or other appropriate arrangements — the government had acted as if there was no Court decision at all by initiating the process to amend the interim constitution to extend the CA. This, it said, was in violation of the earlier Court order as well constitutional provisions. Since the decision was ‘faulty’, the Court issued the order.
|Khil Raj Regmi
In a separate case against the Prime Minister for contempt of court in proposing an extension, the Court directed both Dr. Baburam Bhattarai and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Law and Justice Krishna Prasad Situala, who undersigned the amendment bill, to appear personally in court with a written reply within seven days.UML leader Pradeep Gyawali told , “The best option would be to agree on a constitution incorporating the areas of agreement between all sides, and promulgate it before May 27. If we do that, the legislature-Parliament will remain intact after that, and it can resolve the other remaining contentious issues like state restructuring.”But Mr. Poudel said the Maoists would not agree to a ‘constitution without federalism’, as that lies at the heart of the constitution. Madhesi parties and Janjati MPs too have expressed opposition to this proposal however, saying this would be a ‘conspiracy’ to derail their federal aspirations. The party whip will be enforced in Parliament, unlike in the CA which adds to the apprehensions of ethnic lawmakers who want to retain the option of voting against their party decision on issues like federalism. Mr. Gyawali admitted there was a trust deficit. “Madhesis, Janjatis and women feel that future house will not address their concerns. We need to win their trust.”Lawyers said if the CA gets dissolved without the constitution being written, the institution of the presidency and the government of the day would continue to exist.