DEADLINE EXTENSION: THE POST ELECTION STORY

Few months back, very few Nepalis believed that the election would be held. There were statements from political analysts that Mr. Khil Raj Regmi’s government would not hold the election on time. The government had already allocated the budget for the elections. The only problem was whether the election date would be postponed like it did in the previous election or not.
Fortunately, the election was held peacefully despite protests from Baidya-led 33 minor parties. The results were out within two weeks. But something unexpected occurred at the next moment. The Election Commission decided to postpone the date of submission of Constituent Assembly (CA) members to one week citing difficulties faced by the parties. Well, that is all right. But are we once again going to blame the CA members if they failed to deliver the constitution on time?

How many of you want to pass the mandate concerning the cancellation of deadline extension requests? Raise your hands, please!

The deadline extension for the submission of deserving members implies that the parties can relax a bit and work according to their century old banal plan. Hold bilateral talks with other parties. Argue on the points that they make. Start blaming the other party for the cause of this impasse. And, in the process, forget about submitting the deserving members! That’s it. Nothing less or nothing more.
I should say that this is not the path we promised to walk down once again. We have already traveled that path and faced the consequences. As the deadlines neared, we rallied outside the constituent assembly to put pressure on the then CA members to work 24 hours in making a constitution. Various organizations protested demanding an end to the chitchats and the blame-on-them games that the members were busy in. And on the deadline day, the members hinted some relief to the protesters as they stayed all night to continue promulgating the constitution. Alas, instead of watching the constitution being made, the protesters’ rage knew no bounds as the CA decided to extend the deadline for another six months. And, the similar story grabbed newspaper headlines six months later.
What I’m trying to focus on is that unless we are strict from the start of this constitution making process, there is no way to share our promising hope with the political leaders. The Election Commission should have never encouraged the extension. Its effect has already been observed. It means that the first CA meeting would have to be postponed by a week or even a month. That has a very bad cumulative effect. It looks like the constitution will not be made within a year as the parties had advertised in their election campaigns. It is not something we will be hoping to see.
I am even seeing the chances of extension of other deadlines in between the meetings for this new period. Once again, the possibility of promulgating the constitution in time remains uncertain.
It is time that we don’t listen to every requests that these politicians make. Time to put pressure right from the start and not when the deadlines are near. If we wanna see the constitution made on time, we should avoid entertaining useless requests to extend deadlines at any cost. 
Let us start giving pressure to these folks right from this moment!
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