The Nepalis witnessed a black day on 27 May 2012 as the Constituent Assembly (CA) got dissolved at midnight without declaring a new constitution awaited for four years. The CA, which was considered extremely inclusive in the world, was elected on 10 April 2008 with the goal of drafting a new constitution meant to address the causes and effects of the 10-year Maoist insurgency in the country. The Supreme Court, in response to a writ petition, had ordered the peace process stakeholders not to extend the CA deadline. Many considered this verdict as a political vendetta against those who favored changes.
Prime Minister Dr. Baburam Bhattarai, at midnight on Sunday, declared a new election on 22 November 2012 for a fresh mandate; however, no consensus on it has yet been created.
The major political parties, signatories to the Comprehensive Peace Accord (CPA) were extremely nervous and puzzled over whether to accept a federal system based on ethnic identity or non-ethnic identity amidst threatening interest groups’ continuous protests across the country, including those in Kathmandu. Consequently, they could not take any decision regarding the finalization of the incomplete draft of the new constitution.
The dissolution of the historical CA is a natural outcome since the Nepalis’ power to resist the bureaucratic, political, constitutional and communal hurdles created on the path of dismantling the deep-rooted undemocratic structures was very low.The Maoist insurgents had signed the Comprehensive Peace Accord (CPA) on 21 November 2006 on condition that the elected Constituent Assembly (CA) draft a new constitution with federal republicanism marked by state restructuring and inclusive characteristics. The overwhelming majority, in a series of massive protests defying 19-day military curfew in April 2006, had shown their aspirations for total political and socio-economic transformation in Nepal dominated by landlordly casteist rulers.
Historically, the former Maoist rebels had given up their armed insurgency by joining hands with the parliamentary political parties to ensure restructural changes the political and socio-economic sectors. Should peace process-defined changes be applied, elite rulers would lose many of their existing privileges in different sectors.Nepal's major political parties, not psychologically prepared yet on how to transform the Nepali society, lingered to their power embezzlement-oriented disputes regarding the nature of state and federal systems.
Nepal's peace process had got further complicated after 17 parties led by the Unified Marxist Leninist and the Nepali Congress apparently favored the military supremacy over the civilian supremacy when they did not want to take the issue of sacking the then Rukmangud Katuwal either to the court or to the parliament but preferred to force the ceremonial President to take his unconstitutional decision to re-appoint the army chief. In the same context, Nepal's CA Chairman Subhas Nembwang created a further dilemma by rejecting a motion registered against an unconstitutional step of the country's president.As there exists the political, socio-economic and religious-cultural environment in which the stronger suppresses the weaker, the smarter cheats the duller, the educated suppresses the illiterate, the richer exploits the poorer, the male dominates the female, the dishonest governs the honest, and the guilty suppresses the innocent, acute conflicts and confrontations among various strata of the rulers and the ruled will continue in Nepal.
As part of conflict transformation, the political forces in Nepal must follow the path of right understanding, right intention, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness and right concentration in order to prove their worth of politics for ordinary masses. These are the practical principles developed by Gautam Buddha 1556 years ago. They are applicable in implementing democracy from bottom to top levels.