As Nepal’s previous constitution assembly was not able to successfully draft a constitution, a new government has been created under the leadership of the Nepali Congress. Shusil Koirala has been elected Prime Minister, UML and NC are both represented in the national government, and Bamdev Gautam is home minister once again. The new minister is promising a finished constitution within the year. The United Marxist-Leninist party remains in opposition to the aforementioned groups and it appears as though the Rastriya Prajantrata Party will join the government soon. The Nepalese people have regained hope that a constitution will be created under a new and functioning government soon, and these political quandaries will be left in Nepal’s past. However, we cannot overlook the fact that Nepal’s last constitution assembly made this identical promise twice but to no avail. Can we place our faith in this new government knowing how said situation played out multiple times in recent history?
In 1951, the Nepalese people effectively ended the 104-year Rana regime with the implementation of an autocratic Panchyet system. The leadership of this 30-year period was characterized by nepotism, anarchy, and the pursuit of personal gain at the cost of the Nepalese people rather than the facilitation of national development and constructive government-populace relations as anticipated. In response to the corruptive leadership, the Maoist Party (UML) took root in Nepal by way of guerilla warfare. After 10 years of war the party eventually adopted a more peaceful, democratic approach and partook in the national election. They wanted the lifestyle of Nepalese leaders to remain similar to the privilege and luxury enjoyed by Chinese communist leaders in Mao’s time. Soon the Maoist dictators, their relatives, and other high-ranking party members began to earn exorbitant amounts of money in similar fashion to the preceding leaders who were ousted for this precise reason. The country continued to spiral into economic and social distress, as well as widespread public discontent with the government. The Nepalese people expected much better socio-economic reform from the Maoist party due to their unique approach to work and the principles their party was once founded upon. Today the Nepali Congress and UML are the two major parties, and the Nepali Congress has gained more seats in the elections making it the largest party in the country.
Shusil Koirala, president of the Nepali Congress and Prime Minister, lives a simple life. He has been involved in Nepal’s political scene from the grassroots level to the officiating position he holds today, and thusly has witnessed a diverse range of political, economic and social changes in his time. Many people say doesn’t even have a personal home for accommodation. In stark contrast to the fraudulent and insincere leaders of the past, he has no record of ever receiving money under-the-table. Although some think Shusil Koirala tends to favor a small faction of his party while ignoring the rest, the emergence of his party as the biggest in recent elections contradicts those who doubted his ability to effectively lead a large group. It is now the time for him to prove himself a capable leader by practicing effective consultation and collaboration with others, upholding a standard of nationwide unity and co-operation, and avoiding involvement with the Nepalese mafia or other malicious individuals eager to sacrifice the wellbeing of Nepal for personal gain. In the new constitution, Koirala must find a way to preserve the positive aspects of the old constitution while adding clauses that reflect the needs and aspirations of the 21st century Nepalese population. This task, albeit difficult, provides Koirala with the opportunity to stand out in Nepal’s history as an honest leader and progressive policymaker.
As previously mentioned, the Nepalese people are very unhappy with the inability of the previous government to create an effective constitution despite multiple attempts. The current government faces the task of enhancing flexibility, openness, and unity among individuals and whole parties alike in order to create a constitution that constructively serves every citizen of Nepal, from the high-ranking urbanite to the rural villager forced to sell his kidney to pay off his debt. The constitution must be absolutely clear on two points. Firstly, there is will be no centralization of power. Secondly, there will be no compromise of security or sovereignty for any group people throughout the Nepalese Kingdom, because we are all brothers and sisters regardless of factors such as geography. It should also clarify that absolutely any acts of corruption, present, past, or future, will be prosecuted. We must show the world we are able to write our country’s constitution for ourselves. This government is facing a unique turning point, not only because of there is currently no rule of law, but because it bears the responsibility of determining the future for all of Nepal.
Ultimately, the Nepalese Kingdom wants peace – a sustainable peace that will follow in the wake of a timely constitution, one that may forge a road to happiness and success for every person in our nation. When there is a constitution, there is a rule of law. When there is a rule of law, there is a stable government. When the government is stable, it can accomplish goals vital to the wellbeing of its country such as creating new public policies, focusing on constructive development, enhancing the education system for children and establishing a balanced job market for adults. It is not an easy task to draft the constitution that can make this a reality, but it a possible task, and perhaps the last chance we have. As loyal and proud Nepali it is our duty to work for our country in hard times such as this so that it may flourish in the future. We must form a new voice for Nepal today by finding common ground amongst all parties and eradicating prejudice so that there will be no uncertainty for the Nepal of tomorrow. If we wait for tomorrow we may become a failed state. The present government has an invaluable opportunity to work together in the creation of a historical constitution that will pave the road to prosperity and joy for Nepal.