Sunday, April 23, 2006

Royal address did not solve the crisis : NBA

The Nepal Bar Association said the royal address neither met demands put forth by the seven-party alliance nor was it aimed at resolving the crisis.

"The present political crisis can be resolved only through the restoration of the House of Representatives and election to the constituent assembly," NBA general secretary Madhav Banskota said in a press release on Saturday.

The lawyers' body also called on the King, the seven-party alliance and the Maoists to hold talks to find a peaceful way out. "The royal address neither indicates the King is ready to give up autocratic rule nor does it meet the demands of the people who have been hitting the streets seeking democracy," the press release stated.

Main while former Supreme Court judge Krishna Jung Rayamajhi said the King’s offer to the seven political parties to form a new government under the existing Constitution’s Article 127 was in effect the same as the monarch appointing previous governments following his October 4, 2002 takeover.

“The parties have expressed their dissatisfaction at the King’s call. Even if they agree to his call, they will have just that much power as enjoyed by previous governments following the October 4, 2002 takeover,” former Supreme Court judge Krishna Jung Rayamajhi told . He added that the royal address suggests that the King has no intention of addressing the ongoing movement or resolving the Maoist problem.Rayamajhi also said, “The King has only changed the language of his address. He has failed to make any change in his roadmap, especially concerning the appointment of prime minister and tackling issues relating to peace and security, and restoration of democratic institutions through elections. The king’s reference to Article 35 giving power to the new government is nothing new since the King had already given the same power to former governments headed by Surya Bahadur Thapa and Sher Bahadur Deuba.”

“The political parties’ acceptance of the Monarch’s call will only legitimise the monarch’s power to activate Article 127 any time and the executive will be accountable to the King but not to parliament,” Rayamajhi added.

Constitutional expert Purnaman Shakya said the King failed to address the crisis since his only focus was on the appointment of a Prime Minister. “Since the royal call has failed to meet the people’s demands for revival of the House and election to the Constituent Assembly, the new government, if formed under article 127, will not have the authority to decide on these major demands.”

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