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Nepal’s Constitutional Logjam


Nepal’s political trajectory in the last decade has been remarkable.

Nepalese politicians have declared that Nepal is a secular state and despite all odds even integrated the Maoist combatants into the regular army.

However, when it comes to constitution writing, Nepal’s leaders have had very little success. The first constituent assembly elected in 2008 could not adopt the constitution. And the second constituent assembly elected in 2013 is facing huge obstacles in adopting the constitution acceptable to all.

As a result the political class in Nepal is fast losing its credibility. And fringe groups are reoccupying the political space which they had been forced to vacate earlier.

The 3 features guiding the constitution writing process are: federalism, secularism and republicanism.

Unitary state has to be divided among the federative units for effective functioning.

When a new state is constituted, the administrative feasibility is also criteria in determining whether a new state would be viable or not. Financial feasibility is also a problem.

It is also being said that without proper federal structure there cannot exist a constitution.

For the sake of Nepal’s unity, development and stability the ethnic federalism should be avoided.

Identity based demarcations in Nepal may have an impact on India also in the long run.

There are also people in Nepal trying to bring back monarchy and make it a Hindu state.

Prior to the movement for democracy in early 2006 and the sacking of King Gyanendra, Nepal was officially a Hindu state.

The constituent assembly has set 22nd Jan, 2015 as the deadline to come up with the new constitution.