Nepal: English Translation of Maoists’ 2009 Constitutional Proposal
Posted by Harry Sims on January 23, 2011
We have received a recent English translation of the draft Nepali Constitution that the Maoists proposed in 2009.
This draft was presented in the Constituent Assembly two years ago where opposing class forces put forward opposing visions for a new Nepal. Because the Assembly and political process has been deadlocked — between antagonistic and opposing forces — this draft constitution never went further than debate.
At the time (2009) this draft was associated with Baburam Bhattarai, one of the Vice Chairman of the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) — a leader now leading one of the contending factions within that party.
Part of the current debate among the Maoists themselves, now two years later, is precisely over what kind of federal republic to fight for — with some forces insisted that the goal should be a peoples democratic federal republic (not merely a democratic federal republic).
As a result the vision included in this draft constitution has itself been controversial.
Download the Draft Constitution here as a PDF file.
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When this draft was first issued in 2009, Lal Salaam Canada wrote the following description.
Maoists unveil their proposed constitution for federal Nepal
Dr Baburam Bhattarai, who heads a committee formed by his party, Unified CPN (Maoist), for determining the party’s vision on democracy has unveiled the party’s draft proposal through his personal website.
The Maoists’ draft maintains liberal stance on fundamental rights of the people such as freedom of expression, right to form political parties, right to assembly, among others. The draft divided into 21 parts and 145 articles authorises the state governments to form paramilitary force or militia but the national army would be formed after integration between the People’s Liberation Army and Nepal Army.
The party has proposed an Audit Commission as the highest auditing body of the country in place of the Office of the Auditor General. The Women’s Commission and Dalit Commission as the constitutional bodies of the country have been removed and three new commissions have been proposed – inclusion commission, development commission and inter-state relation commission.
The party has proposed a three-tier judiciary- Supreme Court, State Court and local courts. Besides, a separate constitutional court has been proposed to look into disputes on constitutional issues.
According to the draft, executive power of the government should rest with the President while daily administration should be run by the prime minister and council of ministers. Three assemblies have been proposed – 75 member national assembly and 245 member house of federal representatives. The 13 states proposed by the party will have 25 to 35-member state assemblies. All representatives will be elected through mixed election system.
The Maoist party in the proposed constitution has accepted most democratic values such as human rights, press freedom, periodic elections, rule of law, multi party system, supremacy of judiciary etc.