■ Constitutional Building Institutions
The adoption of the piece of legislation setting the dates of the first legislative and presidential elections after the promulgation of the new constitution is "the last stage in the constituent process," said President of the National Constituent Assembly (NCA) Mustapha Ben Jaafar. Ben Jaafar was speaking following a plenary session during which a bill on the election timeline was adopted.
He called the proposals contained in the draft law "realistic and based on objective data" and highlighted the commitment of all deputies not to introduce any changes to the election timetable and the proposals of the Independent High Authority for Elections (ISIE).
Newly elected member to the Constituent Assembly from Chitwan constituency no-4 Ram Krishna Ghimire of Nepali Congress has said that his first priority would be to help draft the new constitution and carry out development works as promised in the election campaigning. Talking to reporters following his victory in the by-election held on Monday, CA member Ghimire said he would also work towards fulfilling the development needs of his constituency.
"The people´s representatives should now stop misleading the people as the country is slowly taking the democratic path ahead", he said while expressing the commitment to always work in the interest of the people.
Ghimire defeated his nearest rival Dil Kumari Rawal of the CPN-UML by 3,046 votes.
Transparency International Zambia (TIZ) has observed that the constitution making process is slowly being reduced into nothing but a farce by senior Government officials. TIZ president Lee Habasonda says the current constitution review process lacks leadership. Habasonda states that the conduct and utterances of senior government officials on the constitution making process such as the Vice president is a clear demonstration of this.
Habasonda laments that President Sata has insulated himself from this ensuing debate instead of stepping in and providing direction to the nation.
The full House Constituent Assembly (CA) on Monday continued discussion on forms of governance to be incorporated in the new constitution. Form of governance is one of the contentious issues among the parties in the constitution writing process. CA members from Nepali Congress, CPN-UML, UCPN (Maoist), and other fringe parties reiterated their respective positions on forms of governance.
NC leader Ramesh Lekhak said that parliamentary system is the best model in the context of Nepal. “The prime minister elected from the Parliament and president elected from the same House is appropriate because there would be supremacy of the Parliament,” he said.
The meeting of the Constituent Assembly (CA) today approved with majority vote the report of the Constitution Record Study and Determination Committee on fundamental rights and directive principles. The report of the Committee was based on the agreed issues in the then CA Committee on Fundamental Rights and Directive Principles.
Likewise, the meeting also approved the proposal seeking permission to send the disputed issues on the topic of fundamental rights and directives principles to the CA Constitutional-Political Dialogue and Consensus Committee.Also at the meeting today, a report on the agreed issues on the topic of protection of national interest was tabled. The report was based on the disputed issues in the then CA Committee on Protection of National Interest.
Aung San Suu Kyi wants to change the Burmese constitution. But will the military really go along? The big question in Burmese politics these days is whether the military will allow Aung San Suu Kyi to run for the presidency. The current constitution, which was drafted and passed by the old military regime, bars her from the job. Article 59F of the constitution states that any Burmese who has a foreign spouse or children who are foreign nationals can't become president or vice president. Aung San Suu Kyi's two sons (from her marriage with the deceased Oxford professor Michael Aris) have British citizenship, so she needs to change that rule before she can qualify for Burma's highest office.
Constitutions, democracy and transitions in the Arab world: Tunisia’s successes and Egypt’s regressions
On January 26, 2014, the Constituent Assembly of Tunisia voted overwhelmingly [200 out of 217] to approve the most liberal democratic constitution in the Middle East. The constitution protects civil liberties, establishes separation of powers and proper checks and balances, and guarantees gender equality in socio-political processes. Paradoxically enough, the dominant group in the Assembly consists of Islamists.
The charter is an outcome of a long-protracted process of negotiation, consensus and trust-building between Islamists and secularists. A Turkish New York Times columnist, Mustafa Akyol, recently stated that Tunisia can be a role model for Turkey -- even though Turkey is a sixty-year-old democracy.
The High Court on Friday rejected a constitutional petition lodged by the Legal and Human Rights Centre (LHRC) and Tanganyika Law Society (TLS) challenging statements made in the National Assembly by the Prime Minister, Mizengo Pinda, allowing the police to beat up violent demonstrators.
A panel led by Principal Judge Fakih Jundu and comprising Judges Augustine Mwarija and Dr Fauz Twaib struck out the petition, ruling that the two petitioners, which are corporate bodies, had no locus standi to institute the petition.
It is mesmerising to watch article-by-article debates at the Constituent Assembly (CA) on provisions to be inserted in the constitution. The erudite explanations of provisions, their travaux and reasons for recommendation, the equally emphatic rejections and the eventual prudential judgment to strike a compromise to build an enduring constitution are definitely moments worth watching. These moments can arouse a profound sense of belonging to the nation and its people.