Revolution in South Asia

An Internationalist Info Project

Minutes of a Constitutent Assembly

Posted by Mike E on May 28, 2008

from the United We Blog site — a blogging site of Nepali journalists (saying what they often can’t say in print). This site carries extensive coverage of anti-Maoist points of view.

Historic Session of Constituent Assembly Begins in Nepal

Now (22:45),the PM, who is about 84-year-old, leaves for his official residence.

Now (22:43),the votes are being counted. It appears that there are no NO votes against the five-point proposal to declare Nepal a republic.

[Meanwhile, TV stations are reporting that the government has given tomorrow and the day after tomorrow public holidays to celebrate the declaration of republic. Five out of 26 remaining members of the CA have been nominated, reported a TV station.]

Now (22:15), Basantapur (Kathmandu Durbar Square) is decorated by the people to celebrate the declaration of republic. People there are eagerly awaiting the result of the vote.

Now (22:12), Prachanda is back to his seat after voting. He is greeting other members who are passing by from his seat.

Now (22:09), the members of the CA are now voting.

Now (22:05), almost all members are going towards the gate that is assigned for those who are FOR the proposal. Prachanda of the Maoist is leading this line, Jhalanath Khanal of the UML is just behind him. As per the constitution, only a simple majority of the 601-member CA is needed for the proposal to be passed.

Now (22:02), KB Gurung formally tables the proposal for the decision. He tells the members of CA how to vote and explains them the procedures.

Now (21:56), the belling is ringing for the voting. The bell will ring for five minutes.

Now (21:54), as KB Gurugn is explaining the voting procedure, the same RPP Nepal member raises objection saying that the parties should be given chance to have debate on the proposal. KB Gurung said he will be given such chance after the voting.

Now (21:53), the Proposal is presented for decision.

Now (21:52), Home Minister is tabling the proposal related to the implementation of the republic.

Now (21:50), Hridayesh Tripathi of Terai Madhes Loktantrik Party is raising some objections.

Now (21:48), the proposal asks the Nepalis all over the world to celebrate republic day on Jestha 15 every year.

Now (21:47), the proposal says the benifits, privileges that are given to the former king which are more than what the general Nepali citizen get will automatically be stopped.

Now (21:46), the proposal says Nepal has been turned into a federal democratic republic.

Now (21:44), Home Minister Sitaula is tabling the republican related proposal on behalf of the PM. He says the proposal is the result of the meeting of the political parties.

Now (21:42), KB Gurung presents the proposal for the CA assembly procedure. Now the voice voting, YES is loude. The same RPP N member is trying to intervene the meeting. There is no NO. The proposal is passed unanimously.

Now (21:40), KB Gurung is reading out a letter sent by the speaker of the Indian parliament Som Nath Chattarjee.

Now (21:38), the PM says its our responsibility to implement all the agreements that we reached earlier. I have already invited the Maoist to form the government.

Now (21:35), the PM says all sorts of violence must be stopped from now.

Now (21:34),, the PM says the sovereign right of people will never be compromised, it will be strengthened.

Now (21:31), The PM asks minister Ram Chandra Poudel to read the PM’s speech on behalf of him. Poudel starts reading.

Now (21:29), the PM says “we have entered in a new era” and because “we maintained mutual trust, unity and consensus” which “we must maintain in the days ahead. This is the biggest weapon to solve the problem. We have gathered here to solve the problem today. Today is the day when my dream has been fulfilled. Today is the day when the dream of the country has fulfilled.”

Now (21:26), the PM is addressing the assembly. This is an opportunity to change an era. I am happy to welcome you here on this occasion. A day comes once in an era. This day is today.

Now (21:24 ), the chairman gives permission to the Prime Minister to address the CA meeting.

Now (21:22), the assembly is observing a two minute silence for the respect of the martyrs.

(21:19 hours) The first meeting of the CA has begun. As soon as the meeting began (with the announcement of the Chair of the assembly KB Gurung, the oldest member of the assembly, a member of the assembly from RPP Nepal, a pro-king party, tried to raise objection regarding “procedural mistake”.

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