UN's Role in South Asia: The Case of Nepal

Nishchal Nath Pandey is Director, Centre for South Asian Studies, Kathmandu.
  • Share
  • Tweet
  • Email
  • Whatsapp
  • Linkedin
  • Print
  • November 2011

    Nepal has conducted a slew of political experiments since 2006. By inviting the Maoists into the mainstream and collectively deciding to dump the Constitution of 1990, there was hope that a new era of peace and stability would begin with the end of the decade-long armed insurgency. The Constituent Assembly (CA) elections of 2008 saw the emergence of the Maoists as the largest party—which was a totally unexpected and surprising outcome for the international community. The sharpening of differences among political parties and erosion of public faith in the CA compounded the post-republic uncertainty, whereas compromise and consensus should have guided the constitution drafting process. Instead, what the CA did for a full three years was to waste time and resources while keeping critical issues such as federalism, political system and integration of former combatants on the backburner. As a consequence, the people's overwhelming desire for a change manifested by the people's movement of 2006 has now turned into gloom and despair. For the third consecutive year, the CA has failed to draft a constitution and its term expired on 28 May 2011—a deadline that it had stipulated and extended for itself. A three months extension was then given at midnight, but one is not sure whether the CA will be able to accomplish in three months what it has not been able to do in three years.