KATHMANDU,Sept 20: We are marking the fourth anniversary of our constitution and it is now in the course of implementation. Some of the political parties were protesting when the constitution was promulgated on September 20, 2015. But it has been accepted by all as all sides have participated in the elections for the three tiers – federal, provincial and local- conducted as per this constitution.
We see now that these same dissident political parties are present in parliament. They are in government [federal and provincial]. They are leading the government. So, in short, this constitution is now accepted and has been adopted by all.
This constitution has already built a strong political basis. But there are dissatisfactions as well. Some are firm in their demand for amendment. But the demand for amendment isn’t an issue related to the acceptability of the constitution in its entirety. Demand for amendment to a constitution is quite natural and it is something to be addressed on the basis of necessity and relevance. The government has said it will do so as per necessity. Demands that can be addressed in accordance with the spirit of the constitution should be addressed. This constitution allows for amendment to all the provisions except for a few sensitive matters like sovereignty, territorial integrity and national independence.
This constitution is one made by the people. The source of the constitution is the people because it was written by their representatives. Some people are still actively against the constitution. But it won’t fail just because some questions have been raised. There is no power above people’s power, which is the source of this constitution. Amendments can be effected in accordance with the constitution itself. It can be done in parliament and not from the street. One can reach parliament through people’s support and amend it from there. This option is open to all.
It took 10 years for southern India to accept the constitution of that country. But due to the mature decisions of Nepali political parties, Nepal’s constitution has gained acceptability from all sides within a short time.
It is the only constitution which has a direct connection with the people of Nepal as its source. In the past, rulers like the Ranas and the kings also came up with constitutions. We have to look at things through that perspective as well.
This constitution has respected the public spirit expressed through popular movements. It says in its preamble that sovereignty lies in the people.
Basing itself on the various popular movements of the past, it has recognized the demands of ethnic groups like the Madhesi, Tharu and indigenous as well as those of women, Muslims and others. It has respected the human rights of all.
We are in the course of implementing the constitution and we are going about it cautiously. Full implementation of the constitution is challenging. In lack of necessary laws, the local levels are seeking provincial support while the provincial governments are seeking support from the federal government. People aren’t satisfied due to lackluster performance. This should be improved effectively. Formulation of a good constitution and laws isn’t sufficient in itself. Implementation is more important. the focus should now be on the effective implementation of the constitution.
(Nembang, chairman of Constituent Assembly spoke to Republica’s Ishwari Subedi)