No statute today will leave political, constitutional void
THIRA L BHUSAL
KATHMANDU, May 27: Frustrated by the top leaders´ failure to make any headway in resolving the disputes in constitution writing, Constituent Assembly (CA) Chairman Subas Nembang cautioned top leaders of major political parties that the failure to promulgate the new constitution by Sunday will leave a political as well as constitutional void.
At a meeting held at the prime minister´s office in Baluwatar, Nembang urged the leaders to forge consensus or come up with an alternative in the remaining hours so as to avoid the looming crisis.
“Failure to promulgate the new constitution will result in a political void because the interim constitution does not envision CA´s failure to promulgate the new constitution. I alerted the leaders about the impending consequences," Nembang told Republica.
The government will be the direct victim if the CA is dissolved without promulgating the new constitution because the government will turn into a caretaker one immediately after the CA and parliament cease to exist.
As per the interim constitution, the role of CA will come to an end once it promulgates the new constitution but will continue to exist as the legislature-parliament until an elected parliament replaces it. But the legislature-parliament will not be given continuity if the CA fails to promulgate the new statute.
Similarly, the status of president will also be questioned because the he was also elected from the same parliament. On the president´s term of office, Article 36C of the interim constitution states: the president shall continue in office until the new constitution is promulgated by the CA.
Also, questions will be raised if the president exercises executive powers as the constitution clearly defines the president as the constitutional head of the state.
"I had to alert the leaders because questions will definitely be raised from various quarters on the legitimacy of the government, head of state and other institutions as well," Nembang said.
The government and international donors have spent billions of rupees for constitution making. He said people will seek the details and clarifications.
Nembang told the leaders the new constitution would stoke dissatisfaction among various communities but that would be manageable. "But the situation without a constitution will definitely be unmanageable," he explained. He said there will be anarchy in the society because various groups have already started fortifying their camps with the intent to fish in troubled waters in case of CA´s failure.
Nembang argued that the institutions whose legitimacy would be questioned will not be able to contain confrontation between various groups.
Leaders, including UCPN (Maoist) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal, responding to Nembang´s concerns said they realize the gravity of the situation. But, there was no concrete progress toward bringing the new constitution until late Saturday night.