Saturday, May 24, 2008

Simple Majority Government, Ceremonial President Ramraja

A six party government of three Pahadi and three Madhesi parties would be advisable. The two thirds provision has to be scrapped. Governments are supposed to be formed and brought down with a simple majority. And as for ceremonial president, Prachanda seems to be have Ramraja Prasad Singh on his mind, and I agree with it.

Ramraja Prasad Singh is the original republican. He deserves to be Nepal's first president.

In The News

Koirala asks Prachanda to take initiation for new govt NepalNews appointment of a 'ceremonial president'
Khanal to lead UML in Assembly too
Madhesi parties to press for autonomous Madhes while amending constitution including autonomous Madhes province while amending the constitution. .... the three Madhesi parties have bagged 80 seats in the recent election.
Change in two-thirds provision unacceptable: Prachanda Prachanda said, "If they don't want to give it (government leadership) to us, they can keep it. We've no objection."
Yadhav urges consensus for a new govt Terai Madesh Loktantrik Party (TMLP) leader Hridayesh Tripathi warned that Madhesi people would prepare for the next agitation if the CA fails to ensure their rights. .... There are 204 Madhesis in the Constituent Assembly.
Armed Terai outfits holding meeting in Patna
Maoists get green signal to form govt Top leaders of NC, CPN (UML) and MJF had agreed on Wednesday to form a common stance on future power sharing -- ceremonial president after the abolition of monarchy - and amendment of the interim constitution so that a government can be formed and removed through a simple majority in the Constituent Assembly rather than the existing provision of it needing 2/3rd majority.

EC announces final PR results NepalNews the CA has 33.22 percent representation of women, 34.09 percent Madhesis, 8.17 percent Dalits, 33.39 percent Janajatis and 3.83 percent candidates from backward regions. Other groups have 33.91 percent representation. ..... The CA Court has ordered to hold the result of Mahottari-6. Victory of Sarad Singh Bhandari of Madhesi Jahadhikar Forum from this constituency has been challenged at the court.
Present cabinet cannot appoint 26 CA members: CJ
Friday's seven-party meeting to discuss govt formation the new government would come into being in the next two or three weeks.
NSP-A demands resignation of 'corrupt' Minister Gupta
EC validates PR list by Anandi Devi Anandi Devi faction had submitted the names of Sarita Giri and Motilal Dugar.
Maoists may opt out of govt if constitution amended: Minister Gurung if Nepali Congress, UML and other major parties press for constitutional amendment (as a premise for the Maoists leading the government) then the party will let them lead the new government without being part of it.
No constitutional problem in govt formation: CJ
Inflation continues to grow as food crisis deepens the world plunges into a food crisis driven by low production due to drought.
Jha resigns from UML central committee UML central committee member Ram Chandra Jha has resigned expressing his dissatisfaction over the selection of CA candidates under the PR system.
Terai parties unwilling to join new govt

EC annuls TMLP candidate's nomination for PR seat NepalNews Dr Vijay Kumar Singh .... Janakpur Zonal Hospital.
Terai parties unwilling to join new govt Madhesi Janadhikar Forum and the Tarai-Madhes Loktantrik Party have hinted at not joining the new government possibly to be led by Maoists. ....... Sadbhawana Party chief Rajendra Mahato stressed on the need to form a consensus government, but it was necessary that all parties need to participate.

MAOIST CC ENDS, FINALISES PR LIST NepalNews the party has selected all the central committee members in the closed-list for CA membership. Mahato conferred Russia's 'Manager of the Year' the Russian competition 'Manager of the Year' was organised by Free Economic Society of Russia and International Academy of Management under the support of the Council of Federation of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation since 1997. ...... the first foreign national to receive the prestigious award. As the winner of the title, he received a statuette of Catherine the Great, the Big Medal and a diploma amidst a gala ceremony held at Moscow President Hotel on April 22. ..... more than 2,000 business entrepreneurs from majority of Russian regions participate in the annual competition.
India willing to review 1950 Treaty: Menon
Mahara says Maoists ready to go alone if need be to form government the CPN-Maoist central committee decided that the party should be allowed to head the government first and negotiations on power sharing and constitutinal amendment can be discussed later.
UML leaders say their party could join next govt if given respectful place

A New Government, And A New Constitution
by Paramendra Bhagat
April 26

The April 10 elections to the 601 strong constituent assembly
formalized Nepal's tortuous peace process. Now peace feels so much
more concrete. The largest, most sophisticated, armed ultra left group
this planet saw since the end of the Cold War that fought a decade
long civil war with the express goal of establishing a one party
communist republic and at one point held sway over close to 80% of the
country's territory is now securely in a multi-party framework. The
civil war cost 13,000 lives to active combat, and twice that many to

The April Revolution 2006 made the April 2008 elections possible.
During those 19 historic days of April 2006, in a country of 27
million people close to eight million came out into the streets to
shut the entire country down. The first major revolution of the 21st
century happened in Nepal. That was one for world history. The Madhesi
revolutions of winter 2007 and winter 2008 were the second and third
chapters of that April Revolution 2006. If Nepal can now make itself a
multi-party democracy of state funded parties, it will have become the
number one democracy on the planet, better than India, Britain or
America, and the April Revolution 2006, Madhesi Revolution 2007, and
Madhesi Revolution 2008 together will compete with no less than the
French Revolution itself in the annals of world history. Nepal will
emerge the primary exporter of democracy to the rest of the world. The
formula is simple: shut your country down completely until the
dictator gives up power.

Immediate Concerns

I recommend forming a six party government of the Maoists, the NC, the
UML, the MJF, the TMDP, and the Sadbhavana. A six party steering
committee formed of the president of each party would make all the
major decisions for the government to implement. Prachanda gets to be
the Prime Minister, I think Chitralekha should be brought in as one of
the 26 appointed members to the assembly, and she gets to be the
Speaker, or she should be made the ceremonial president if we are to
opt immediately for a ceremonial president, in which case Subash
Nembang of the UML could serve as Speaker. Karima Begam of the MJF
could then be Deputy Speaker, I would recommend. The top portfolios
should be divided among all the major parties. The MJF could get Home
and Upendra Yadav could become the country's first Home Minister, the
Maoists could have a Defense Minister in Badal, Mahat of the NC could
get Finance again, and some UML person could get the Foreign Ministry.

New Constitution In A Year

Prachanda has said it is possible to give the country a new
constitution within a year. I agree. Some broad agreements could be
made among all the parties.

(1) Hold direct elections for the country's executive presidency. If
no one candidate gets at least 50% of the votes, a second round
between the top two candidates is held within a month. This is
essential for political stability, grassroots democracy, and a clean
separation of powers between the three branches of government. The
president will get a four year term. A limit of two terms for any one
person will be put in place.
(2) Eight state federalism: Khasan, Tharuwan, Magarat, Tamuwan,
Tamang, Newa, Kirat, Madhesh. Retain the 75 districts. My proposal of
the eight state federalism is only a slight modification of the
original Maoist map of nine states. I have combined two of theirs to
create a Khasan. No other party bothered to even offer a map to the
people. So we have to go by a map that closely resembles the original
Maoist map, I think.
(3) A 100 seat upper house. Party based fully proportional election.
At least every other name on a party's list must be female.
(4) A 240 seat lower house. 75 districts are turned into 75
multi-member constituencies. Half of the 240 seats are to be in the
Terai districts. It is to be noted that the multi-member constituency
is the most popular form of elections in the world because it is
considered the most democratic.
(5) All national parties are to be state funded. National parties are
those that get at least 1% of the votes for the upper house. The total
number of votes earned by a party for the two houses will determine
how much annual allowance it will get. Parties may not seek other
sources of funding.

Nobel Peace Prize

I don't know if it will happen in 2008, 2009, or 2010, but Nepal's
peace process, once Nepal has been turned into a multi-party democracy
of state funded parties, will be deserving of a Nobel Peace Prize.

30,000 Strong Army

And I hope the security sector reform means we end up with a Nepal
Army that is 30,000 strong only and it is reflective of Nepal's ethnic
and gender composition. I hope it is 40% female, I hope it is at least
30% Madhesi, for example.

Economic Revolution

Once the country gets its new constitution, a new army, a new
parliament, and a new directly elected president, Nepal will be ripe
candidate for an economic take off. We should be able to envision a
10% growth rate year in year out for the next 30 years. There is a lot
of catching up to do.

Coalition Culture

If the largest party is only one third of the assembly, chances are
Nepal is headed for an era of coalition governments into the years
ahead. India has shown under Manmohan Singh that a coalition
government can achieve economic miracles just fine. Nepal has a lot of
economic catching up to do economically.

In The News

Row Over Govt Formation Deepens Himalayan Times The Nepali Congress and CPN-UML want the CPN-Maoist to lead the next government only after a constitutional amendment allowing the opposition to dislodge the prime minister and the government with a simple House majority.

UML, MPRF underscore constitutional amendment Kantipur the need to amend the constitutional provision so as to dissolve the government with a simple majority ...... MPRF leaders Yadav, Upendra Jha, Dr Mahadev Sah and Shyamanda Suman ..... The MPRF leaders are holding discussions with the NC leaders including Ram Chandra Poudel, Bimalendra Nidhai at the NC parliamentary office
Minister Mahara, Speaker Nemwang stress on consensus
UML CC meet accepts Nepal’s resignation as Gen. Secy appointed Amrit Kumar Bohara as the acting General Secretary of the party. ...... decision to nominate Rabindra Shrestha as a central committee member.
NC Siraha district committee dissolved NC’s suspension of district committees in the wake of NC’s huge loss
India to build 1500 km road alongside border would provide easy access to the East-West Highway in Nepal. ...... Nepal was not India-locked. "You are India-open. Open to an India that is economically dynamic, a vast and growing market and a source of easily accessible skills and technology."
‘Maoists should lead new govt’
India politicians, analysts want 1950 Treaty reviewed
मधेसमा जे देखियो दसवटा गाउ“ पुगियो । त्यहा“का ग्रामीण महिलामा जुन उत्साह यसपालि देखिन्थ्यो विगतका चुनावमा कहिल्यै यस्तो देखेकी थिइन“ । जहा“जहा“ पुग्थें युवा एउटै नारा लगाइरहेका थिए- कांग्रेस-एमाले भागभाग, जाग मधेसी जागजाग । अर्काे बिर्सन नसकिने कुरा थियो- वाईसीएल कार्यकर्ताको सक्रियता । उनीहरूको स्वर सुनिन्थ्यो- सबके देखली बारबार, माओवादी के देखियो एकबार † यसरी तर्राईका गाउ“गाउ“मा माओवादी र मधेसवादी दलकै जनलहर चलेको थियो । ..... र्सलाही र महोत्तरीमा बाहुल्य रहेको कांग्रेसको यसपालि यी दुवै जिल्लामा खातासमेत खुल्न सकेन ..... मधेसबाट कांग्रेस र एमालेभन्दा बढी मत ल्याउन माओवादी सफल भयो । ..... तमलोपाको जनलहर पनि मधेसमा कम थिएन तर यसले आफूलाई मधेसी ग्रामीण समुदायमा प्रस्ट्याउन सकेन

MJF leaders meet with NC, UML, Maoist leadership; call for amendment in constitution NepalNews The MJF team led by its coordinator Upendra Yadav met with Maoist chairman Prachanda in the evening. Yadav said that the discussions focused on forging understanding regarding forming next government, constitution-making and on Madhesi issues....... the MJF leadership is reported to have pointed out the need to amend the interim constitution to allow party (s) with simple majority to form the next government. As per the interim constitution, only the party (s) with two-third majority can form a government. The MJF has also been demanding removing the provision of seven party understanding in the constitution
UML central committee approves gen secy’s resignation
Koirala rejects NC acting president’s resignation
There will be a consensus govt: Mahara
MJF ready to extend conditional cooperation to Maoists warned it could launch new revolt if Madhesi issues are sidelined. ...... the need to delete the inclusion of names of specific political parties and MPs in the interim constitution. ....... “The MJF will play its role in ending this political deadlock”

Poll post-mortem Nepali Times the incoherence and competing ambitions within the top Forum brass is already visible. ...... many in the Forum are keen to be a part of the Kathmandu establishment to recoup their huge campaign investments. ....... The defeat of the TMLP’s Mahant Thakur was a blow to his party, Madhesi upper castes and local elites in Tarai towns. ........ The Tripathis and Shuklas are too addicted to power politics in Kathmandu. ...... Madhes units of the NC are in complete disarray and the blame game has started. There are more defections in the offing. ......... For NC leaders to now say they lost out because voting happened along ethnic lines is foolish. ...... the NC faces a real threat in the Tarai. ...... The armed groups in Madhes do not know what hit them. ..... the Madhesi parties right now neither have a roadmap for Madhesi representation or a clear vision of federalism.
Among the alchemists Baburam Bhattarai studied urban planning and appears to believe that a 20 percent economic growth rate is possible ...... Dahal has declared that the new constitution will be miraculously written within one year ...... But there is also the MJF now, and they can always do to Maoists what Maoists have been doing to others for last two years: threaten to take to streets to pursue their agenda.
MPRF Chairman Yadav opposes PM Koirala as head of next govt. Kantipur the MPRF could co-ordinate with the Maoists in the next government if the Maoists agree on the previous agreement between the government and the Forum and fulfill other demands of his party. ...... MPRF emerged as the fourth largest party in the recent CA elections securing a total of 54 seats in the April 10 elections.
Rs 1 lakh relief each for 13,246 conflict dead
'सरकारको नेतृत्व कांग्रेसले गर्नुपर्छ'

Ex-minister Khadka Charged with Murder Himalayan Times
Rajkaji against Koirala at helm again
NC, UML seek new agreement with Maoists
Nepali Congress and the CPN-UML — have said they want a fresh understanding with CPN-Maoist before giving them a chance to lead the next government as the single largest party. ....... the sharing of the position of President, Prime Minister and the leadership of the CA among the major stakeholders ...... “The constitutional provision seeking a two-third majority to appoint or remove the PM is against democratic norms,” he said. “A simple majority should suffice to form or remove the government. Maoists should be given the opportunity to lead the new government only after such a constitutional arrangement is put in place” ....... Prachanda cannot lead the government as long as he remains the PLA commander

'NC won't give up govt's leadership unless Maoists dump weapons' NepalNews until the arms possessed by the People's Liberation Army (PLA) were destroyed or handed over to the national army. ....... He asked if the chief of an army organisation were ever given the leadership of the next army in the world. ..... the NC would not give up power until the Maoists garner support of two-third majority. ..... balance of power be maintained by allocating the posts of president, Prime Minister and chair of Constituent Assembly (CA) to different parties.