Tuesday, June 9, 2009

A Model Constitution for Nepal Released

A model constitution for Nepal was released on May 21 to provide a comprehensive expert input into the constitution making process at the Constituent Assembly. The model comprises 26 Chapters, 297 Articles, and six schedules.

The model constitution was drafted by a senior constitutional expert, Dr Bipin Adhikari. The Model Constitution of Nepal is intended to help stimulate rational discussions on core constitutional issues facing the country.

The constitution is based on a parliamentary form of government at the center and a presidential system at the provincial level. The draft incorporates new fundamental rights, increases ministerial accountability to parliament and provides for autonomous provinces and self-government. It enhances the role of constitutional watchdogs and also increases their pubic accountability. The draft was prepared by drawing on lessons from the past as well as trends and innovations in other parliamentary democracies.

Launching the draft, National Human Rights Commission Chairman and former Chief Justice Kedar Nath Upadhyay said that the expert draft addresses many complicated issues that the new constitution of Nepal will have to deal with. He also added that this draft should serve as an important reference point for the work being undertaken by the CA.

The draft was also commented upon by senior political leaders Chakra Prasad Bastola of Nepali Congress, Bharat Mohan Adhikari of CPN (UML), and Suresh Ale Magar of UCPN (Maoist).
While the first two commentators applauded the efforts of the author to deal with almost all political problems of Nepal comprehensively, and within the liberal democratic framework, the Maoist representative said the draft, although very useful for the Constituent Assembly, had a class orientation. He also said the Janjatis will not accept his provinces based on geography.
Senior Advocate and President of Nepal Bar Association Biswa Kant Mainali also expressed his views on the model. Introducing Dr. Adhikari’s book, imminent constitutional lawyer and convener of the Consortium of Constitutional Experts Dr. Surya Dhungel introduced the model constitution.
Source: NEW SPOTLIGHT NEWSMAGAZINE, June 16-30, 2009

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