Nepal’s New Constitution will not be promulgated by Jan 22

Jan 21, Kathmandu: Nepal’s former Prime Minister and UCPN Maoist chief, Pushpa Kamal Dahal (Prachanda) in an exclusive meeting with The Oslo Times International News Network has stated that the new constitution will not be promulgated by the 22nd of January as the parties are discussing  on issues regarding federalism and rights of minority groups, women, children and Dalits.

Talking to the Editor-in-Chief of The Oslo Times, Hatef Mokhtar, at his residence in Lazimpat, Prachanda stated that the two parties that are in power are not complying to the 12 point peace accord which he had  signed with the Late Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala and the 8 point agreement signed by the 7 political parties.

“Why do we need to work on new points, when we have not complied to the points mentioned in the Peace Accord,” he said, before adding that giving ethnic minorities, women, children and the Dalit rights would not lessen the country’s unity and would instead make people feel a sense of ownership towards their country which would strengthen the country’s unity.

Further answering to questions related to Nepal’s democracy, federalism and the transitional phase that Nepal is going through he stated that they would not compromise on the rights of the ethnic minorities and would not let the sacrifices made by thousands of families across Nepal go in vain, ” we aren’t the only ones asking for a constituency based on equal rights for all, through the agreements that had been signed earlier on, this is what the international community  has asked for too.”

Prachanda who had become the country’s prime minister after a land slide victory in the 2008 elections, further added that Nepal is going through a very difficult time as the two ruling parties are working against the interest of the people. ” They are making the same mistake the former king Gyanandra made, they dont understand that Nepali people want them  to comply to the previous agreements and  want a constitution that institutionalizes their rights and freedoms,” he said.

The 12 point peace accord that had been signed between  the then CPN Maoist Party and the Seven political parties in 2005, states the following:
The points reached in understanding

1. The democracy, peace, prosperity, social advancement and independent, sovereign Nepal is the principal wish of all the Nepali people today. We fully agree that the autocratic monarchy is the main hurdle in achieving this wish. We have a clear opinion that the peace, progress and prosperity in the country are not possible until full democracy is established by bringing the absolute monarchy to an end. Therefore, an understanding has been reached to establish full democracy by bringing the autocratic monarchy to an end through a nationwide democratic movement of all the forces rising against the autocratic monarchy from their respective positions.

2. The agitating Seven Political Parties are fully committed to the fact that the existing conflict in the country can be resolved and that the sovereignty and the state powers can be vested completely in people only by establishing full democracy by restoring the parliament through the force of agitation and forming a powerful all-party government by its decision, negotiating with the Maoists, and on the basis of agreement, holding the election of Constituent Assembly. The CPN (Maoist) is of the view that the aforementioned goal can be achieved by holding a national political conference of the agitating democratic forces and by forming an interim government through conference decisions and holding the election of Constituent Assembly, and the CPN (M) expresses its commitment. On the issue of this procedural agenda, an understanding has been made to continue dialogue and seek a common agreement between the agitating Seven Political Parties and the CPN (Maoist). It has been agreed that the force of the People’s Movement is the only alternative to achieve this goal.

3. The country today demands the establishment of a permanent peace along with a positive resolution of the armed conflict. We are, therefore, firmly committed to establishing permanent peace by bringing the existing armed conflict in the country to an end through a progressive political outlet of the establishment of the full democracy by ending the autocratic monarchy and holding the Constituent Assembly election based on the aforementioned procedure. The CPN (Maoist) expresses its commitment to move forward in the new peaceful political stream through this process. In this context, an understanding has been reached to keep the Maoist Armed Force and the Royal Army under the United Nations or a reliable international supervision during the Constituent Assembly election to be held after the end of the autocratic monarchy, to conduct the election in a free and fair manner and to accept the result of the election. We also expect the reliable involvement of the international community in the negotiation process.

4. Making public its commitment in an institutionalised and clear manner towards the democratic norms and values, including competitive multiparty system of governance, civil liberties,  fundamental rights, human rights and the concept of rule of law, the CPN (Maoist) has expressed its commitment to move forward its activities accordingly.

5. The CPN (Maoist) has expressed its commitment to create an environment to allow people, leaders and workers of political parties who were displaced during the course of armed conflict, to return and live with dignity in their respective places; to return homes, land and property that were seized in an unjust manner and to allow people to carry out political activities without any hindrance.

6. Making a self-assessment and a self-criticism of the past mistakes and weaknesses, the CPN (Maoist) has expressed its commitment for not allowing the mistakes and weaknesses to be committed again in the future.

7. Making a self-assessment of the mistakes and weaknesses committed while staying in the Government and Parliament in the past, the Seven Political Parties have expressed their commitment to not repeat such mistakes and weaknesses in the future.

8. To further the peace process, commitment has been made to fully respect the values and norms of human rights and to respect the press freedom.

9. As the announcement of the election of municipality is backed by the ill-motive of deluding people and the international community while maintaining the autocratic and illegitimate rule of the King; and as the rumour of the Parliament elections is spread as a crafty ploy, we announce its complete boycott inour respective ways, and appeal to the general public to make the elections a failure.

10. The people and their representative political parties are the real guardians of the nationality. Therefore, we are firmly committed to the protection of the independence, sovereignty, geographical integrity and national unity of the country. It is our common obligation to maintain friendly relations with all countries of the world in the principle of peaceful co-existence, and to maintain good relations with neighbouring countries, especially India and China. We request all the people to remain cautious of the false attempt of the King and the monarchists to create confusion among patriotic people by projecting the illusory (‘Mandale’) nationalism to prolong the autocratic and illegitimate rule of the King and to raise a question mark over the patriotism of the political parties; and we appeal to the international powers and communities to support the democratic movement against the autocratic monarchy in Nepal in every possible way.

11. We sincerely invite the civil society, professional organisations, various community organisations, people of all communities and regions, the media, intellectuals and all Nepalese people to make the movement successful by actively participating in the peaceful People’s Movement launched on the basis of these understandings reached, while maintaining the core ideals of democracy, peace, prosperity, forward-looking social transformation, independence, sovereignty and dignity of the country.

12. Regarding the inappropriate conduct that took place among the political parties in the past, a common commitment has been expressed to investigate the incidents on which objection was raised and take appropriate action if guilt is established in such cases, and make the same public. An understanding has been reached to resolve any problems that might emerge among the parties in the future through dialogue and discussion at the concerned level or at the leadership level.