Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Constitutional crisis looming: Experts

The constitution would not be completely defunct because they will remain in the interim parliament. If they resign from the parliament, it will definitely be defunct— Daman Nath Dhungana

With the Maoists walking out of the government , constitutional experts hinted that it might invite constitutional crisis.According to them, though the Maoists’ decision to walk out of the government would not affect the process of the government immediately, it will raise serious questions on the political process.Former speaker and senior advocate Daman Nath Dhungana said the Maoists’ decision has forced the peace process and the interim constitution into a “vulnerable condition”. “The new political development has raised questions on the formation of the government,” Dhungana told .He, however, said there are further negotiation phases and it would be wrong to draw a conclusion about the entire peace process based on their decision to resign from the government. “The constitution would not be completely defunct because they will remain in the interim parliament.” “If they resign even from the parliament, it would definitely be defunct,” he added.Articles 38 and 45 of the Interim Constitution state that the government and the parliament would form and function as per the consensus between the seven parties and the Maoists.President of the Nepal Bar Association Bishwokanta Mainali said any political party could join and leave the government and that may not raise questions on the legitimacy of the government. “It may affect the peace process, but it does not raise any question on the legitimacy of the government and the parliament,” he added.“Certainly, this will make the government politically and constitutionally weak,” Mainali said, adding: “Basically, this is not a constitutional document but a political one. Such a situation may invite civil war,” he added.Purnaman Shakya, a constitutional expert, said the Maoists’ decision might invite derailment of the Interim Constitution though it does not affect the existing government. “But it may invite crisis for the entire peace process,” he said.


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