Nepal constitution deadline missed–again

Nepal’s constituent assembly, elected in 2007, will miss another deadline to produce a constitution.

It was supposed to be done on the 28th of May, but there was no chance they were going to make it. So yesterday’s announcement just acknowledges the inevitable.

The assembly, by two thirds vote, will simply amend the interim constitution to extend its own term–not for the first time. The previous deadline was 28 May 2010.

I wonder how common it is for constituent assemblies to miss their deadlines. It would make sense to require elections for a new constituent assembly if the current one fails to meet deadlines for its primary function, which is (obviously) to draft a constitution. On the other hand, when you are the constituent body, your word is sovereign (exceptions for some cases that are under international supervision, such as Namibia in 1990) and you can do whatever you want, more or less by definition.

5 thoughts on “Nepal constitution deadline missed–again

  1. The Indonesian constituent assembly, elected in 1955, was deadlocked for 4 years, at which point the founding President, Sukarno, single-handedly abolished the Parliamentary system and reverted the country to the 1945 constitution, which with amendments introduced after the return to democracy in 1999, we’re still using today.

    That it’s a flawed system is glaringly obvious — the amendments are probably longer than the original constitution text! And no, he did not call new elections after the constitutional change, he just let the old parliament (separate from the assembly) continue to meet.

  2. Pakistan’s constituent assembly met from 1947 to 1954 without reaching agreement on a constitution. The assembly was then dissolved and elections held. The second assembly managed to deliver a constitution within one year.

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