Taskforce sends preliminary draft of constitution to CDC
The Task Force – under Constitution Drafting Committee (CDC) – today submitted the draft of new Constitution to the CDC, leaving some of the unresolved issues pending for now.
However, the Task Force submitted the draft including pluralism and people’s war – both the contentious terms – in the Preamble of the Constitution, according to Nepali Congress CA member Ramesh Lekhak.
The Preamble will mention pluralism and federalism, UCPN-Maoist CA member Ram Narayan Bidari said. However, according to Task Force member Narsingh Chaudhari, though pluralism has been incorporated in the Preamble, its spirit is not carried in entire draft Constitution.
Nepali Congress has been insisting on mentioning the word ‘pluralism’ in the Preamble while UCPN-Maoist was against it. Members from other political parties have been trying to find a middle-way by including the word somewhere else in the constitution.
“The draft envisaged centre controlled local bodies, including the states,” he said, adding that the Task Force – that consulted experts on constitutional and legal terms – has however decided not to address the naming and boundary issues of federalism, according to the 16-point four party agreement between Nepali Congress, CPN-UML, UCPN-Maoist and Madhesi Janaadhikar Forum-Democratic.
The draft has also stated that there will be no reappointment of Supreme Court judges and constitutional appointments after commencement of the new constitution. The largest political party Nepali Congress was against the repoointment, though all political parties have stood for reappointment of the judges and other office bearers.
The committee has, however, agreed to hold local polls within six months of the commencement of the new constitution.
However, political parties can parties and CA members can register amendments to any provision until the final draft of the new constitution is endorsed by the CA full House.
Earlier, this month four major political forces had settled key contentious issues including federalism, system of governance, judiciary and electoral model through the 16-point political deal. The CA full house had then asked the drafting committee to settle some of the unresolved issues and prepare the first draft of the new constitution by June 28.
The draft constitution intended to retain one centralised judiciary, said Chaudhary, who has submitted an eight-page note of dissent to the Task Force on constitutional issues.
The 73-member CDC, which has representation of all the 30 political parties of the CA, will – most probably – endorse the final draft of constitution tomorrow after discussion, and CDC is likely to submit the final draft to the full house of Constituent Assembly (CA) as the deadline given to the committee will expire on Sunday. The CDC chief Krishna Prasad Sitaula is likely to table the first draft at the CA meeting on Monday.
The meeting of Task Force held at Singha Durbar today has finalised the draft before submitting it to the CDC. The CDC had formed a six-member Task Force few few days back to prepare the final draft.
Former chief secretary Tirthaman Shakya, former secretaries Bhesraj Sharma and Madhav Poudel and joint secretary at the Ministry of Law, Justice, CA and Federal Affairs Tek Prasad Dhungana assisted the Task Force to prepare the final draft.