CA reinstatement for 27 minutes?
KATHMANDU, JUL 06 -
While the major political parties remain sharply divided on the next road map towards a constitution, a constitutional expert has proposed that reinstating the Constituent Assembly (CA) for just 27 minutes through political consensus could be an overlooked option to end the current impasse.
Constitutional lawyer Chandra Kanta Gyawali said Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai had performed an “extrajudicial act” by announcing fresh CA elections without letting the assembly meet its demise naturally.
“The declaration of fresh elections dissolved the CA 27 minutes ahead of the natural end of its tenure,” said Gyawali. “The prime minister, in accordance with the Interim Constitution, does not command the proper authority to dissolve the CA.” Gyawali clarified that there were only three grounds envisioned by the Interim Constitution and the Supreme Court under which the CA could dissolve: under Article 82 of the Interim Constitution, the assembly would relinquish its responsibility after promulgation of the new constitution; the assembly could itself announce its dissolution by passing a resolution ahead of its deadline; and based on the Supreme Court’s verdict prohibiting yet another term extension, the CA would naturally dissolve after 12.00 pm on May 27, whether it promulgated the constitution or not.
“The prime minister dissolved the assembly before its term expired, presuming that the CA would not be able to come up with the constitution in the little time that was left,” said Gyawali. “Had the CA dissolved naturally, the status of the prime minister would have been reduced to caretaker and he would not have had the authority to announce new elections.
“Then all political forces would have been bound to come together to formulate a common road map,” argued Gyawali.
However, another constitutional lawyer Purna Man Shakya said CA reinstatement is “not so easy.” The legitimacy of any such step could be challenged in the Supreme Court and the people will not accept the proposal until there is a guarantee of promulgating the new constitution, said Shakya.
“The political parties alone do not have the authority to revive the assembly. Unless the people support the revival, the reinstatement will be illegitimate,” he said.
Both the lawyers said the country would plunge into a serious constitutional crisis if the parties failed to reach a compromise sometime in the near future.
Posted on: 2012-07-06 08:39