A mockery of Nepali democracy

It is said that the constitution is not the precursor to change. Rather a constitution is simply a documentation of the changes that have happened. It is the act of legitimizing the various changes that have occurred. A gentle reminder that the only way now is forward. What we documented in the Constitution of Nepal is the numerous stages of people’s movement, the fight for democratic proceedings, the bargaining between diverse ethnicities for autonomy and proceedings, the aspirations of the general populace for an economically prosperous country, and the resulting federal structure. From this documentation comes the limits to the power of the government – that it can never go back to the undemocratic proceedings of the old monarch of the recent past, that it is a vessel for the trust that people carry. 

We are now at a juncture where a mockery of all that has happened has occurred. We, today mark an era where the government has single-handedly crossed its boundaries by dissolving the parliament by misquoting the constitution. The fact of the matter is that the invoked article i.e., 76(7) does not apply under current circumstances. A fine reading of article 76(7) makes it clear that the House of Representatives can only be dissolved when a Prime Minister chosen in the absence of a majority party fails to gain the vote of confidence of the parliament. It need not be reminded that our esteemed Prime Minister commands the majority in the parliament. He has for all intents and purposes received the parliament’s vote of confidence. Although he has faltered to remain in the confidence of his own peers, the actions taken today mark a clear disregard for the people’s struggle and their aspirations.

We can now only hope that the actions taken are overturned by the Supreme Court, that the opposition and the intelligentsia of Nepal struggle to keep democratic proceedings alive. If otherwise, this day will truly be etched in the history of the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal as one of its darkest days.