The Constituent Assembly (CA) Sub-Committee under the Committee on State Restructuring and Distribution of State Powers deserves a round of applause for narrowing down on two federal models out of the over 20 models submitted to it by political parties and members of the Sub-Committee. We have always maintained that finalizing the federal model and determining the system of governance in the new constitution will be the two biggest challenges for the CA. However, now that the Sub-Committee has opted for two federal models, it gives us a ground to discuss, debate, argue, agree and even disagree on the models and finally come to a consensus on one—it can be either one out of the two models presented or a healthier combination drawn out by merging both.
Now, the most important task before us is to debate the pros and cons of both the models by involving not only the political parties but also experts and members of the civil society to come up with a structure that is agreeable to the vast majority. This is crucial before two-thirds majority in the CA endorses the final model.
As we see it, both the models have their own merits and demerits. The model that proposes carving out 14 states addresses the demand of ethnic groups and looks inclusive. However, the question that arises is: Does it make sense for a poor country such as Nepal to incur huge administrative costs on the parliaments and bureaucracies of 14 states? How viable is it economically to carve out so many tiny states? Won’t states as small as Newa or Birat be compelled to depend on the center defeating the whole idea of federalizing them? Similarly, the model that proposes six states makes sense in administrative terms. It also addresses the demand of those advocating for an anti-ethnic model. However, is the model inclusive enough? With so many ethnic groups fighting vigorously for their identify and representation, isn’t the model unfair to them?
In the next few months, these are exactly the questions that need to debated intensely by political parties and their leaders, experts, civil society and all the stakeholders. The idea is to agree on a model that is representative of the sentiments of the majority of Nepalis. Having said that, we understand that it is impossible to narrow down on a model that will satisfy everyone. But the idea is to keep on moving ahead. The model approved by the CA need not be unalienable. When there is a genuine demand and need in the future for newer states or, say, for merging two states into one, it can always be incorporated by amending the constitution
First of all I would like to disagree with some of the commenter. I believe it is not the time to argue what should have been done. Rather we must focused our time to come up with the best choice we have and make it better. Secondly my opinion is of having federal government with few states about 4 - 7 as it is extremely important since our country is multilingual and multicultural and centralization of power has given a choice to very few people. Another point is economic development and infras
both model proposed will fail eventually as this whole federal idea is nonsensical in Nepali context, this was not a demand of Nepali people nor feasible. No Nepali will accept federalism without going to referendum, I do not understand why so called democratic parties is afraid of referendum on major issues like, monarchy, secular state and federalism if they are so sure that majority people support this idea. If majority votes for these idea these ideas will gain legitimacy and if not they ca
These two models are two extreme ends. The maoist model is worst because it forgets the KHAS community. That is not fair. It will invite more struggle and opposition from KHAS community. Period.
All this hoopla about dividing the country for better governance in Nepal is futile ... it´s llike repainting a car while no one (so-called leaders) knows how to drive it.