Kathmandu, July 22, 2015: The toll free number service arranged by the Constituent Assembly (CA) Secretariat to collect people’s feedback to the first draft of the constitution has been largely utilised. People from a nine-year-old child to a nonagenarian man submitted their suggestions to the Committee through the toll free number 16600122344 that was available for submissions round-the-clock.
Though the people had to wait for a long time to record their views via the free phone service, the CA Secretariat recorded the calls from around 3,000 people.
Majority of the callers who were from across the country suggested that executive power of the country should be rested on a candidate directly elected by the people, the tenure of Prime Minister should not be more than two consecutive terms and the person convicted in the corruption case should be prevented from vying for election. Likewise, over 50 per cent women participation in state every apparatus was also stressed.
The voices for making the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) more powerful and determining academic qualification for appointment at constitutional bodies were recorded by the CA Secretariat.
A caller from Pokhara, Chandra Laxmi Ghuvaju, suggested that Nepal should be declared the Buddhist state as Gautam Buddha was born in Nepal.
A caller from Okhaldhunga by the name Shant Tamang complained of not getting a copy of the draft constitution and said the people were having to wait for too long to note down their suggestions.
Umesh Bharati from Bhojpur and Sujit Kumar Ojha from Siraha called in toll free number to suggest giving executive head to Prime Minister and threshold on vote percentage in the new constitution.
Calling from Jajarkot, Diwas Chand said the President must be directly elected while Sherchan Thapa from Pyuthan suggested reducing the number of provinces in name of Koshi Gandaki and Karnali and demanded insurance from state on education, health and employment.
Speaking to the National News Agency (RSS) Secretariat’s Under Secretary Raghunath Sharma Acharya said the citizens had given their opinion in their own language and their participation was enthusiastic.
Suggestions trickle in from world over
Nepali people spread around the world have sent emails to have their say on the new constitution, which is drafted once in an era. According to Pradeep Kumar Nepal, a technician at the Secretariat, most suggestions came from Nepali diasporas in the US and the UK. They have suggested directly elected executive head while the British Gurkha servicemen said although they were entitled to residential visa in Britain they were still Nepali people. Nepalis residing in more than a hundred countries have sent their suggestions.
Among the migrant workers’ most sought after destination countries, suggestions have poured in from Qatar, UAE, Bahrain, Oman, South Korea, Japan and Malaysia, and also from Kenya among other countries. Nepali diasporas in Russia and other European countries have insisted on naming the provinces after Mt Everest (known as Sagarmatha in Nepal) and Lumbini, the birthplace of Gautam Buddha, which are known to be the most famous destinations for foreigners in Nepal.
As of 6:00 pm on Tuesday, a total of 26,496 people have given their suggestions using the electronic medium. At least 17,395 people have used the website while around 3,000 have used toll free number, and the remaining through email.