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PSAARC, India Panel Discussion on Nepal's 2013 Constituent Assembly Election

December 3, 2013, at 12:00 am

Created: 03 December 2013

PSAARC-India organised a panel discussion on Nepal's Constituent Assembly Election 2013 on 15 November 2013. Dr Arjun Karki, Vijay Pratap, Prof Sangeeta Thapliyal and Maj Gen Ashok K Mehta discussed various aspects of the Constituent Assembly Election.

Introducing PSAARC and the panel, Rakhi Sehgal said that PSAARC is a platform which brings together progressive and democratic people and mass organisations, to ensure that the SAARC works for the common people of SAARC countries. Since its formation, not only has the SAARC failed to work as per its mandate, failed to keep its promises but it has also been held hostage to the vagaries of the India-Pakistan relations which has affected the working of the SAARC.

Highlighting the importance of the Constituent Assembly Election for a democratic future of Nepal, Prof Thapliyal who also chaired the discussion said that although Nepal is in a phase of democratic transition , the transition has gone on for too long [since the 1950s] and it looks like it has become a permanent feature of Nepal's politics. In 2008, elections were held for the Constituent Assembly in order to write a constitution. By this time the Maoists had come to the centre stage of Nepali politics. All the parties came together and there was consensus that the constitution would be written. The Constituent Assembly had the mandate to write the constitution within two years but it did no't happen. The Constituent Assembly was extended 4 times and later dissolved. Vijay Pratap described the dissolution of the Constituent Assembly of Nepal as unprecedented in history. He said, it was for the first time in history that people of all sections and classs of society were represented in a Constituent Assembly. But chances are low that the new Constituent Assembly would be as representative. He said, in Nepal the communist parties share 62 per cent of votes. Which means that the majority of the country has left of centre inclinations. In Nepal twenty per cent of the people are politically active and this percentage is big if political parties mobilize people to transform the country. Currently, Nepal is unable to assert its sovereignty. The parties