After much delay, the preliminary draft of new Constitution has finally been out. You can download Nepal Constitution 2072 draft in Nepali in pdf format.
The draft was prepared by Constitution Drafting Committee and it was presented by the Chairman of the Committee- Krishna Prasad Sitaula. Although the political parties were far behind from their promise to deliver the new constitution within a year from the second election for Constitution Assembly, the political leaders are at least able to break the status quo in Nepalese politics by bringing out this draft. This is just the beginning. Much is to be done before giving it a final approval. Nepal Government has even announced two days of public holiday for the active participation of public on the suggestions regarding amendment in the draft.
I personally believe this method to be unscientific. Not every people’s voice can be collected through this process and Constitution Assembly is not liable to include the suggestions they collect from citizens. So, I think it would have been better if political leaders would have collected people’s opinions through ‘REFERENDUM’. Some of the controversial issues that demand referendum are:
Who can get Nepali Citizenship?
Should Nepal adopt Secularism or should it be a Hindu State?
Should Nepal go for decentralization or should it be a Federal State?
Should Nepal adopt parliamentary system of Democracy?
These are the questions that have long term effect on the fate of Nepalese so it is not wise to leave the decision in hands of few top leaders. Besides, there is not solidarity regarding the draft among political parties. Several parties have already expressed openly about their note of dissent. UCPN (Maoist) has reservations on few points even if it supports the draft but Madhes based parties have openly shown their disagreement by tearing the draft right after Sitaula’s presentation.
The process of drafting constitution became a topic of controversy since the beginning when Supreme Court issued Stay Order on implementing 16-point agreement. It has been decided to give authority to Federal Commission to decide on issues regarding the names and boundaries of federal provinces.
There are altogether 37 Parts and 296 Articles in draft.
Some of the features of New Constitution
There will be altogether eight provinces in Nepal.
Citizenship is provided based on father’s and mother’s name.
Nepal will be a secular state.
There will be five non-amendable provisions.
The development and economic growth of Nepal is in halt since more than a decade because political leaders were focusing more on constitution making. So, let us hope Nepal will be on its way to development when the new constitution is prepared. If we are to believe political leaders, they have told us that they are committed in issuing New Constitution 2072 by the end of Shrawan.
Please express your views on New constitution in comment section.