The nation marked Constitution Day and National Day by organising various of programmes on Wednesday. This is a special day in the country’s political annuals. On Asoj 3, 2072 BS (September 20, 2015), the Constituent Assembly promulgated the landmark constitution that brought structural changes to Nepali system and society. Nepal became a federal republic and a secular state. This transformation heralded a new era of long cherished stability, peace and prosperity. In fact, Nepal has witnessed many movements and struggles for freedom, equality and dignity since 1951 when it opened up to the world for the first time. We have also experimented with around half a dozen constitutions in the last more than seven decades. But the Constitution of Nepal 2015 incorporates all the achievements of the past movements and people’s perennial desire for happiness. The country is now striving to realise the lofty goals of statute which has envisioned inclusive economic growth and socialism-oriented economy essential for implementing 31 fundamental rights of citizens and special rights of various marginal groups, ethnicities and cultural and religious communities.
On the occasion of the Constitution Day and National Day, the President, Prime Minister, former prime ministers and chiefs of political parties have extended their best wishes. In his message, President Ramchandra Paudel has said that the constitution has envisaged to fulfil the expectations for sustainable peace, good governance, development and prosperity. Ensuring fundamental rights, establishment of industries at home, boosting domestic production and generating employment are some major challenges of the hour, according to the President. Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda has said that the constitution has not only guaranteed political rights but also economic, social and cultural liberties, paving the way for long-lasting peace, good governance and social justice. Acting Prime Minister and Minister for Defense Purna Bahadur Khadka has said that the constitution has connected the diverse Nepali society to a wider national unity.
Eight years have passed since the promulgation of the constitution but implementing its vision and provisions has remained a daunting task. Two elections to three-tier governments were held since then. The polls have further consolidated the federal set-up. Creating appropriate laws, structures, mechanisms and working culture is necessary to institutionalise the constitution. Moreover, political stability is the key to achieving the objectives of the statute. Contrary to the expectation of the people, the country plunged into instability after House of Representatives, formed following the three-tier elections in 2017, got dissolved twice. This was a big setback to the constitution. Even the second general elections held in 2022 produced a hung parliament. As no party holds majority in the parliament, it is the responsibility of all political forces to make collective efforts to implement the statute in letter and spirit.
The Constitution Day is a moment to assess the gains and shortcomings that the governments, political parties, judiciary, executive, media and the civil society made in course of enforcing the statute in the last eight years. The executive, legislature and judiciary have vital role in effectively implementing the statute. The coalition government has laid emphasis on good, governance, rule of law, prosperity and efficient delivery of services and goods to the people. It is not just the government but all responsible players should act in accordance with the spirit of the constitution to address the burning social, economic, security and geopolitical issues of the nation. They must demonstrate the constitutional behaviour and character for the successful implementation of the supreme legal charter of the nation.