Thumbprint Democ­racy

People's Review - - LEADER -

The last time the king was con­sti­tu­tional in this cur­rently repub­li­can Nepal was when the 1990 con­sti­tu­tion pre­vailed in the coun­try. There is ob­vi­ously an anom­aly when the king is pub­licly rec­og­nized as such by a sec­tion of the of­fi­cial pop­u­la­tion in the neigh­bor­hood. This surely has to do with the fact that the un­con­sti­tu­tional tam­per­ing with the 1990 con­sti­tu­tion al­lows a sig­nif­i­cant sec­tion of the pop­u­la­tion to in­sist that there is a king in this coun­try. If there is a king in the coun­try it is un­der the 1990 con­sti­tu­tion. The prob­lem is that the 1990 con­sti­tu­tion is not in vogue at the in­sis­tence of or­ga­nized po­lit­i­cal par­ties that mo­nop­o­lized the 1990 con­sti­tu­tion to re­tain their monopoly over the cur­rent dis­pen­sa­tion and in so do­ing cut short shrift to con­sti­tu­tion­al­ism in the guise of con­sti­tu­tion­al­ism it­self. In the process, they tam­pered with fun­da­men­tal val­ues, norms and prac­tices of con­sti­tu­tion­al­ism that is re­flected also in the prac­tice and im­ple­men­ta­tion of the new con­sti­tu­tion. This im­pu­dent tam­per­ing and its ef­fects is wit­nessed in the man­ner the new con­sti­tu­tion was drafted. The elected and thus the sov­er­eign con­stituent assem­bly were not con­sulted when the newly drafted con­sti­tu­tion was sent for of­fi­cial ap­proval for con­sti­tu­tional assem­bly en­dorse­ment. The use of the party whip in­sured its pas­sage through the con­stituent assem­bly with­out a whim­per re­gard­less of the mas­sive pub­lic opin­ion demon­strated against repub­li­can, fed­eral and sec­u­lar pro­vi­sions when an at­tempt was made of­fi­cially to se­cure di­rect pop­u­lar sup­port. If the law of the land could be tam­pered with in such a man­ner suc­cess­fully, the same im­pu­dence could ap­ply when the con­sti­tu­tion was im­ple­mented, trig­ger­ing the elec­tions by way of which it has. Out­right ig­no­rance of demo­cratic prac­tices has been so demon­strated in what is deemed the cur­rent dab­bling in con­sti­tu­tion­al­ism was re­peat­edly demon­strated in the process of ‘im­ple­ment­ing the con­sti­tu­tion’ through the elec­tions. When­ever short­com­ings arose, our new po­lit­i­cal masters de­cided among them­selves to pound their heads and seek pro­ce­dural so­lu­tions with­out re­gard to its im­pact on democ­racy and its prin­ci­ples as have been de­vel­oped and en­shrined in be­hav­ioral mores that com­pose democ­racy. As a re­sult we now have a thumbprint democ­racy in the coun­try. Par­lia­men­tary democ­racy makes par­lia­ment sov­er­eign be­cause it is par­lia­ment that di­rects the head of state to ap­point elected and sworn in par­lia­men­tar­i­ans to gov­ern­ment. It is in this sense that the elected par­lia­ment is sov­er­eign. The gov­ern­ment is in the process of for­ma­tion un­der K.P. Oli in sup­posed part­ner­ship with Pushpa Ka­mal Da­hal (Prachanda) who, to­gether, are over­lords of po­lit­i­cal par­ties said to have the essen­tial ma­jor­ity in a par­lia­ment that has yet to swear in and sit for the busi­ness of gov­ern­ment. The essen­tial num­bers are pre­sumed al­ready made and the essen­tial ma­jor­ity merely a pre­sump­tion since our par­lia­men­tar­i­ans have the num­bers to rub­ber stamp. It is thus also what for­mer king Gya­nen­dra says his democ­racy day mes­sage that mere elec­tions don’t com­pose democ­racy is right. It is in the ad­her­ence of demo­cratic prac­tice, not merely elec­tions that com­pose democ­racy.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Nepal

© PressReader. All rights reserved.