Since the Election of Constituent Assembly in 2008, Nepal had four governments and four Prime Ministers within a 4-year period to draft the constitution. However, few members of the constitution assembly who run their parties and thus run the system are delaying it. Whether it was multiparty or monarchy or communists in power, these people always found a way to be on top whether they were elected or defeated. They are like Napoleon’s foreign minister Talleyrand who stayed in power for over 4 decades whether it was Napoleon Bonaparte or the Bourbons ruling the French empire. These are selfish negotiators bargaining for the top position at the cost of their own people.
Even though Nepal has 601 elected or nominated members of Constituent Assembly making everyone responsible and accountable, only a handful make decisions for the entire country no matter who is elected or is in the government. Certain people are responsible for dismantling and assembling governments, increasing corruptions, and delaying the drafting of the constitution as if it is being ruled by an underworld mafia.
Let’s start with the UML—party. Less than a half a dozen people always make decisions for the entire party. Madhav Kumar Nepal, Bamdev Gautam, KP Oli, Bharat Mohan Adhikari, Jhala Nath Khanal and may be one or two more persons, whether they are elected or defeated in elections, make decisions where their party stands on each issues. When these leaders of the UML order their members, no one goes against their command even if such orders can be futile for Nepali and Nepal. For instance, no UML leader ever objected, even for a second, Madhav Kumar Nepal’s candidacy for the prime ministerial position even when they all knew that the democracy doesn’t reward the losers. They like to think that Nepalese government is their family business.
Secondly, Nepali Congress—party. Since 1990, NC has been the main ruling party of Nepal. It has formed many governments but failed to achieve anything substantial. About one dozen people in the NC– Sushil Koirala, Sher Bd Deuba, Ramchandra Poudel, Khum Bd. Khadka, Arjun N. KC and may be one or two more have the rein of the party. These politicians have led the government different times holding vital positions. This small fraction of the party decides where their party stands on each issue and who can form the next government. Rests of the party members just follow these leaders’ orders. They are like a sun-dial stuck up in a shade. This history shows that these politicians have done very little for the country but for themselves.
Finally, Prachanda, Baburam Bhattrai and Baida are the main three players of the Maoist party that have the sovereign power and authority in the party. Although this is the largest party in Nepal having the most elected Assembly Members, remaining members act like war horses trained to obey orders to rush for the battleground without using their own judgments. Leaders who lead properly have intelligent followers but rest of the Maoists has no say in the party or in the parliament except when this trio orders them. It is like a flock of sheep being led to the slaughterhouse of misery by their shepherd but the dumb sheep know not.
We know now that these less than 15 leaders of the three parties have authority and ability to–pass laws, draft the constitution, establish law and order, control corruptions and so on. Every time I open a newspaper, I read these leaders committing to the goal of drafting the constitutions. In fact, they say, without any hesitation, that the constitution is ready and right around the corner. If that is so, why are these leaders not giving us a constitution for four years? Why are they not doing job they are paid for? Why the people of Nepal are being misled constantly by these 15? Are they afraid that constitution would stop them from promoting their own selfish and sensual aims?
Or maybe it’s greed. Because once Nepali people get a democratic constitution they will be exposed to opportunities to grow and pursue their dreams, these possessive so called leaders seems to be worried that their days to be the key players could be over. Power, they are used to in the realm of impunity and corruption can easily be brought down under the rule of law. Everyday these leaders work very hard to change the government so that their selfish ego can be satisfied. To draft a good constitution, you need experts from different area of life including, lawyers, sociologist, geologist, economics and so on. Then, to turn that draft into the constitution, the Assembly Members need to vote. Why do you need to lead the government if making a constitution only requires votes from the assembly members which you already are?
The 15 people named above can’t give us a constitution because they are worried that the power and opportunity to make more money could be lost. It is a common sense that drafting a good constitution is not that hard in the 21st century where experts can agree to terms that are practical and necessary in that geography. To draft a good constitution, you need willingness just like the founding fathers of the US had when they wrote the constitution in 1787. That constitution was written 2 centuries ago and still remains as practical as it was then. This is the constitution that played a great role in protecting individual freedom, banning slavery, securing females’ rights, giving equal protections and so on. These 15 should have learned this lesson from the US if they were sincere about writing a constitution in Nepal. But I doubt about their sincerity!