Chitwan,19 March 2015: President Dr Ram Baran YadavÂ hasÂ called on the political parties to come together forÂ concluding theÂ ongoing constitution drafting process.
Speaking at the inaugural session of the 13th All Nepal Lawyer’s National Conference that began at Ratnanagar in east Chitwan from Wednesday, Dr Yadav urged legal practitioners to mount pressure on parties for completing the constitution-drafting on time.Â The event is organised by the Nepal Bar Association (NBA).
The parties should keep their words given to the people and be focused on giving acceptable constitution to the people.Â The NBA could play a supportive role towards that end.
“The political parties who walked on a common forum during people’s movement drafted the Interim Constitution through collective efforts, and I, as the Head-of-the-State, call on them to unite again for promulgating the new constitution”, he said. “I wish that all Nepali citizens enjoy happiness and prosperity and I am not feeling repose for the past six years as the country is passing through a transition”.
The President who seemed very emotional during his address heartily requested all for unity in drafting the new constitution.
Wishing that the conferenceÂ would come up with essential feedback to the parties motivating them to focus on constitution-making, he said,Â as a custodian of the constitution he wished that the new constitution would be drafted meeting the aspirations of all.
Democracy cannot exist in the absence of independent judiciary, he said, urging legal practitioners to always stand for independent judiciary. He suggested political parties to sit with legal experts, geographers, hydropower and culture experts to finalise the disputes hovering over the matters of federalism.
Also speaking on the occasion, Constituent Assembly (CA) Chair Subas NembangÂ said, “Political parties are fully capable of drafting the new constitution by resolving the disputes within a minute, but they are not ready for the same. Political parties, who demanded the prorogation of the CA, stating they were close to a consensus and would strike the agreement within ten days, are still lingering on the same issues almost a month away.”
Noting his repeated appeals to the parties to forge agreement, CA Chair Nembang said in the context of the parties’ failure to come to a common ground of understanding the voting process would be initiated in line with provision stipulated in the Interim Constitution, which he termed as a fruit of past agreement. “As the parties are not being too serious, dialogue and discussion among them have not reached a conclusion,” he said.
Nembang added, “The parties even rejected my suggestion of developing the draft in 10 days in case they fail to reach an understanding.”
When asked of the parties’ senior leaders’ response to his appeal for agreement, Nembang said the leaders did not respond. Nembang also said he would play a role to help approve the Bar Association bill when it is tabled at the parliament.
On the occasion, Acting Chief Justice Kalyan Shrestha said whatever was taking place in the country should not have taken place and what should have happened did not happen. “The constitution drafting must take place as soon as possible, but why is it on a hold?” Shrestha questioned. He added that no one could be above the country, and that parties and leaders’ were all within the bounds of the country. He stressed for drafting the constitution in the interest of the country.
Shrestha said justice and security were interlinked and added that the people could not experience peace without strengthening justice. He further said 23,000 cases were filed at the SC while calling for immediate fulfillment of the vacant positions at the Bar.
At the programme, Attorney General Baburam Kunwar praised the Bar’s role in ensuring the legal rights of the people. He warned of crisis in democracy if rule of law and legal procedures were not duly followed.
Law Asia President Prashant Kumar, UNDP Country Director Renaud Meyer, Head of Mission, International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA) Sheri Meyerhoffer, NBA President Hari Krishna Karki and Vice President Tikaram Bhattarai among others made their comments. A letter from Prime Minister Sushil Koirala was read out at the programme.
The seminar bearing the slogan of ‘Federal Democratic Republic’s Continuity, Professional Capability for Independent Judiciary and Economic Development’ is being attended by 3,000 legal entrepreneurs from across the country.
The seminar will see presentation of a total of 93 working papers pertaining to various subjects under nine sectors related to law and justice over which categorical discussions shall take place. The seminar shall conclude with promulgation of Chitwan Declaration which will enshrine reviews over the works of judiciary and administration, and discussion on economic development, commercial law and professional capability related to the content of the democratic constitution and its criticism.
The seminar held every three years last took place in Kathmandu.