Print Edition - 2017-02-15 | News
In Brussels, Mahat defends Nepal’s constitution
Feb 15, 2017-
Foreign Minister Prakash Sharan Mahat said in Brussels on Tuesday that the blueprint for an inclusive democracy was readied with the promulgation of the new constitution in Nepal.
Addressing an interaction on “Inclusive Democracy and Economic Transformation in Nepal: Prospects and Challenges”, jointly organised by the Embassy of Nepal and the European Institute for Asian Studies, Mahat said: “We cannot claim that our constitution is 100 percent perfect. In fact, nowhere in the world is such perfection possible. But to judge by any fair standard, it encompasses the main features of a democratic and inclusive polity.”
Mahat defended the constitution in the backdrop of last year’s India-EU joint statement that urged Nepal’s political parties to move ahead for a “broad-based constitution by meeting the aspirations of various communities”.
“Commitment has been expressed both in the preamble and articles [of the constitution] to democratic norms and values, civil liberties, fundamental human rights, periodic elections, complete press freedom and an independent, impartial and competent judiciary,” he added.
Mahat said state policies were aimed at uplifting the overall status of socially backward women, Dalits, Adibasi/Janajatis, Madhesis, Tharus, minorities, people with disability, marginalised communities, Muslims, backward classes, gender and sexual minorities, citizens from backward regions and economically poor populations.
The foreign minister said concrete measures had been devised to promote inclusive representation in all levels of governance to have at least 33 percent women in the federal parliament and at least 40 percent females in all the political bodies at the provincial and local levels.
The country needs to address genuine concerns of some sections of the society who have been protesting against some provisions of the charter, Mahat said.
“We must ensure full implementation of the constitution by holding local, provincial and national elections by January 2018.”
Published: 15-02-2017 08:31