Constitution drafting process further delayed in Nepal

Kathmandu, March 6: The process of drafting a new constitution in Nepal has been further delayed due to a dispute among parties about the rules of procedure of the Constituent Assembly.

Nearly four months have passed since the country held its second Constituent Assembly election, but the various parties have still not finalised the rules of procedure of the constitution drafting process. Only the formulation of rules of procedure will pave the way for drafting a new constitution, reports Xinhua.

Major coalition partners Nepali Congress (NC) and Communist Party of Nepal-Unified Marxist-Leninist (CPN-UML) are at odds over who — the president or the Constituent Assembly chairman — should certify, authenticate and promulgate the new constitution.

The NC has said that the president, as the head of state, should get the authority to do so.

“As head of the state, the president should get such authority as per international practices,” said NC vice-president Ram Chandra Poudel at a public programme this week.

The CPN-UML, however, holds that the Constituent Assembly chairman should get such authority. There is a vague constitutional provision on the issue.

Due to the dispute between the two parties, the process of drafting the rules of procedure have been halted for a week.

A cross-party committee was formed on Feb 10 to prepare the rules of procedure for drafting a new constitution. Due to the dispute, the tenure of the committee has been extended several times.

Parties are under pressure to prepare the rules of procedure as soon as possible and begin the constitution drafting process.