UCPN (Maoist) chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal’s proposal to revive the Constituent Assembly to promulgate a constitution including the issues that have already been agreed received a major setback after a group of former chief justices suggested that the dissolved CA cannot be revived with the goal of issuing a constitution. The former chief justices who were invited by caretaker Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai to seek their views on Sunday however said that the CA could be revived to amend the interim constitution to pave the way for fresh elections and to conduct parliamentary hearings for appointments to vital constitutional bodies. They also suggested that consensus among major political forces had become an imperative to end the present constitutional and political deadlock. The former chief justices’ suggestion has come on the day the two major opposition parties—NC and CPN-UML—rejected Dahal’s proposal for CA revival.
Going by the latest developments, it has now become amply clear that the current deadlock could be overcome only after the change of the present government. Like the opposition parties have demanded, the only solution in sight is resignation of PM Bhattarai and formation of consensus government under the leadership of a candidate agreeable to all sides. This is so because NC and CPN-UML have already ruled out Dahal’s alternative proposal to form a consensus government under the leadership of Bhattarai or an independent personality. Dahal’s continuous changes in stance have further aggravated the environment of trust among the parties. There is no disagreement that the need of the hour is major political forces working together to find a solution before the situation worsens. The general people have long started feeling that the current crop of leaders has failed to deliver. Rightly so. Not only did the parties fail to draft a constitution after several extensions of CA, they also failed to gain people’s confidence owing to their inept working style. The power struggle within and among the parties hints at our leaders’ lack of vision in dealing with important issues that need to be addressed with priority. But the responsibility again lies on the same leaders, as we do not have any other workable option to bail the country out of the current impasse.
Though voices have been heard in favor of the President taking a drastic measure to force through a solution, such a move would be very controversial as the head of the state has no such role under the interim constitution. We have been consistently saying that the onus for a breakthrough lies with the leaders of major political forces; they need to rise above party interests; this is not time for competitive politics. Working together to find a consensus and draft a constitution that guarantees democratic federal republican system should now be their one and only goal. Therefore, we once again call upon leaders to engage in open dialogue to explore all possibilities, and try to bridge their differences. The goal should be to create conducive environment for fresh CA polls to draft a new constitution. Discussions over the revival of the CA to draft a constitution should now come to an end.