Koirala shifts from Federalism to Decentralization
Feb 14, 2009, Look and Gaze Correspondent: What appears to be a large shift from his earlier position, former Prime Minister of Nepal and President of the second largest party Nepali Congress, Girija Prasad Koirala spoke out his wish that he wants to see the country federalized as per the principle of "decentralization". He suggested that the Swedish federalism serves as the best model. Swedish federalism entails a decentralized governance structure which comprise of central, regional and village level governments. "This is a tight rope walking, as there is the possibility of safely crossing the risk or falling in the middle", he said. "It can bring to us good results as well as bad ones".
He stressed on the need for unity among the political parties represented in the constituent assembly. An old political hawk who witnessed coming and going of four dynastic kings and their constitutions, Koirala said the new constitution should be so simple and clear that a layperson like himself could understand it. National integrity and sovereignty should never be compromised at any cost, he added.
Koirala also expressed his disappointment over the Maoists tendency to go astray the agreed upon sets of actions set out while signing the 12-point understanding. "When students don't perform well, it is the teachers who are generally blamed", he cracked a joke indicating the Maoists' disobedience to their teacher.
(Koirala was speaking at a program organized by Susma Koirala Memorial Trust in Kathmandu. Kedar Nath Upadhyay, Chairperson, National Human Rights Commission of Nepal, who was also present at the program, stressed on the need for unity among the political parties. Other participants: CP Oli of the CPN (ML), Khim Lal Devkota, Central Committee Member of the UCPN (Maoist), Prof Tahir Mahmood, Member of the Law Commission of India, W Cole Durham, Jr., J. Reuben Clark Law School, Brigham Young University, USA, Prof Kanak Bikram Thapa, Prof. Amber Prasad Panth, Dr Shindu Nathh Pyakural, Prof Brett Schariff.)