For the first time in Nepal’s history, Nepali people’s representatives have made a new constitution through a Constituent Assembly (CA) and delivered it to the people. With this, the seven decades long dream of Nepali people to make a constitution through a CA has come true.
President Ram Baran Yadav unveiled the new constitution at the last CA meeting held on Sunday. With the promulgation by the head of state, the new statute has already come into implementation and the CA has been dissolved from Sunday itself.
“After endorsement from the Constituent Assembly and authentication by the CA chairman, I hereby declare before Nepali people that this constitution has come into commencement from today, September 20, 2015,” President Yadav declared at the last CA meeting on Sunday.
As the head of the state announced the promulgation of the new constitution, the hall, galleries and balconies that were jam-packed with CA members, former lawmakers, diplomats, heads and members of constitutional bodies, bureaucrats and other participants clapped and thumped the tables.
After making the formal declaration, the president also gave a brief speech.
“With the announcement of this constitution, federal democratic republic system has been institutionalized in our country. Also, it has been established that the people’s sovereignty and the source of the state powers is vested only in the people,” said President Yadav.
He also urged all the Nepali people to maintain mutual unity, cooperation, and harmony among people of various communities from the mountains, hills and Tarai-Madhes regions. “The constitution is a living document. I urge one and all to remain active to attain social justice, rights and prosperity through successful use of this document,” said the president. “This is a common document, which is endorsed by the people’s representatives through the CA, and it safeguards Nepal’s independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity and people’s sovereignty,” he said.
CA Chairman Subas Nembang, addressing the same CA meeting, which was also organized as a special national ceremony, said that promulgation of the new constitution wasn’t end of its making. He claimed that the promulgation of the constitution rather created an opportunity for making it better.
“This constitution might not be perfect and might not have succeeded in accommodating all aspirations of the people from all sections of society, but it has laid a ground to include them in the days to come,” he said.
Nembang urged the major political forces to give continuity to the unity they have shown while producing new constitution in the days to come as well so that the challenges in implementation can be tackled successfully.
He described the constitution making process adopted in the CA as quite democratic, transparent and participatory one and that it would set an example for the entire world.
Nembang said there was no better option left other than to produce the new constitution even as 57 lawmakers boycotted the process at the final stage while 537 lawmakers were for promulgating the statute.
With the new constitution coming into effect, CA chairman announced dissolution of the CA from Sunday itself.
“As the CA has accomplished its given task of making new constitution, this CA has been dissolved right here and this Assembly has now been transformed into the legislature parliament,” Nembang announced at the same meeting.
The CA’s first meeting was convened on January 22, 2014.
Major features of Constitution of Nepal 2015
·• Democratic Republican state
•· Federal model with seven provinces
•· Three-tier government — federal, provincial and local
•· Inclusion and policy of proportional representation
•· Competitive multi-party democratic system
•· People’s sovereignty
•· Fundamental rights including economic, social and cultural rights
•· Full press freedom
•· Independent, fair and competent judiciary
•· Constitutional bench in the Supreme Court
•· Executive rights on Council of Ministers
•· President as ceremonial head-of-the-state
•· Bi-cameral federal parliament — 275-members House of Representatives and 59-members National Assembly
• Citizenship by descent to a child of a Nepali father or mother