Nepal’s Constitution and Federalism: Vision and Implementation
After over sixty years of political struggles, including armed conflict, Nepal succeeded in promulgating its new constitution through an elected Constituent Assembly in September 2015—the seventh constitution in as many decades. The constitution restructured Nepal into a federal republic, moving away from constitutional monarchy and a unitary system of governance, bringing hopes for economic empowerment, social transformation, and inclusive society.
Five years since the promulgation of the Constitution, the five articles in this book attempt to reflect on the current status of the constitution implementation process, challenges, and ways forward. Hon. Subash Chandra Nembang, chairperson of the Constituent Assembly, provides background to the history of constitution writing in Nepal and underlines why this constitution is different from all earlier ones. Hon. Radheshyam Adhikari, the main opposition party leader in the National Assembly today, gives an overview of the state of implementation of the constitution—the challenges and ways to possible solutions. Hon. Laxman Lal Karna, a senior lawyer and a leader of the Janata Samajbadi Party, provides context as to where the constitution has shortcomings and underlines the need for amendments “to strengthen the supreme law of the land.” Constituent Assembly Member Mahalaxmi Upadhyay Dina, who has a long history of contributions in the struggle for women’s rights, writes about where women’s rights stand with regards to the constitution and how its implementation can be made more inclusive for women. In the fifth article, Dr. Somlal Subedi, a former chief secretary of the Government of Nepal, writes with an administrator’s perspective about how state restructuring could be made more efficient.