Nepal Kantipur Television (KTV) talk show Naya Sambidha (New Constitution)

International IDEA support to Nepal Kantipur Television (KTV) talk show Naya Sambidha (New Constitution)

International IDEA sponsored twelve episodes of a prime time talk show Naya Sambidhan (New Constitution) on one of Nepal’s leading private television stations, Kantipur Television (KTV). The talk show focused on contentious constitutional issues such as Citizenship, Federalism, the Electoral System, the Judicial System, Forms of Government and on the Constituent Assembly process related to the drafting the new constitution of Nepal. The interviews were conducted with constitutional experts, politicians and analysts. The talk shows were filmed and broadcast between 18 September and 18 December 2014. Short introductions for each episode, and the biographies of the guests, are set out below.

The Host of Naya Sambidhan

Mr. Hari Phuyal is an advocate in the Supreme Court of Nepal and he has worked as a senior legal adviser to the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) Nepal. He has worked as the National Legal Adviser to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in Nepal and as a consultant to the National Human Rights Commission, Nepal. Mr. Phuyal has published articles on refugee law, independence of the judiciary and human rights and taught a number of law courses at Tribhuban University, Kathmandu. He represents human rights cases in the courts and is active with transitional justice related issues in Nepal. He hosted a weekly talk show, Naya Sambidhan (New Constitution), on Katipur TV a leading private television station in Nepal. IDEA supported 12 episodes of the show from September to December 2014.

Episode 1: Citizenship

18 September 2014

Citizenship is one of the contentious and important issues in Nepal. The discussion inside and outside of the CA has focused on the wording “mother or father” or mother and father” to transfer citizenship to their children. The talk show is focused on existing and proposed constitutional provisions and their impact on transferring citizenship by decent and for naturalized citizenship. In particular it looks at the negative effect of proposed constitutional provisions on the ability of women to transfer citizenship to their children.


1. Hon Laxmanlal Karna is a Senior Advocate and Vice President of the Sadbhawana Party (SP). He was a Constituent Assembly Member in the previous CA (2008-2012) and re-elected in 2013. In the first CA, he was a Member of the Constitutional Dispute Resolution Sub-committee's Task Force which was formed to resolve disputed issues in the draft constitution. He served as a Minister without portfolio in 2009. He was a candidate of Pratinidhi Sabha (House of Representatives) in 1992 and 2000. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Law and Humanities.

2. Senior Advocate Sapana Pradhan Malla is one of Nepal’s leading woman Senior Advocates and was a Constituent Assembly Member (2008-2012) for the CPN-UML party. As the founder and former President of the Forum for Women, Law & Development (FWLD), Ms. Pradhan has contributed to bringing progressive changes in laws related to marital rape, women’s right to inheritance and others. In addition, she has been part of several national and international forums and delegations such as the Convention for the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW 2015-2018). She was a joint winner of the 2008 Gruber Prize for Women’s Rights. She holds Master Degree in Comparative Law from the University of Delhi and a Mid-Career Masters from Harvard Kennedy School of Government.

Episode 2: Forms of Government

25 September 2014

The proposal made by first Constituent Assembly was to adopt a Mixed Form of Government. This episode is focused on whether this option was still being considered by the CA II.


1. Hon. Mr. Jeetendra Narayan is a Member of the Constituent Assembly and General Secretary of the Madhesi Jana Adhikar Forum- Democratic. He is a Member of Drafting Committee and chaired a Sub-Committee on Preamble under that committee. He was a Member of Special Committee on Integration of Maoist Combatant to Nepal Army. He was also a member of the Four-Party-Task-Force on Management of the Political Deadlock in 2012. He has an MA in Economics and a Bachelor of Law. He has published several articles on political and socio-economic issues and is known as a thought leader of the Madhes.

2. Professor Krishna Khanal was a Professor in the Central Department of Political Science, Tribhuvan University from 1977 to 2010. He has written extensively on contemporary political issues of Nepal relating to democracy, governance, state restructuring, political system, constitution making, political parties, leadership, etc. He also worked as Senior National Adviser to UNDP’s Support to Participatory Constitution Building in Nepal (SPCBN) from 2010 to 2013.

Episode 3: Electoral System

9 October 2014

The electoral system plays the important role to develop sustainable democracy, inclusion and representation of the minority groups. This episode is focused on possible points of consensus between the political parties on the electoral system.


1. Mr. Bhojraj Pokharel was the Chief Election Commissioner of Nepal from 2006-2008. During that time, Mr. Pokharel skillfully managed to bring the former Maoist rebels in the democratic electoral processes. He is a member of various professional organizations including Transparency International Nepal. He has worked with key external development partners specializing in the areas of election, governance and policy. He was appointed Member of UN Secretary General’s High Level Panel to oversee the Bangladesh Parliamentary elections in 2008 and Southern Sudan’s Referenda process in 2010-2011. His recent book Nepal Votes for Peace has shared key lessons in managing a post conflict election. He is a graduate of Harvard Kennedy School.

2. Hon. Ms. Radha Gyawali is Minister of Energy, Government of Nepal. Prior to this she was a Member of the Constituent Assembly’s Capacity Building and Resource Management Committee and of the Legislative Parliament’s International Relation and Human Rights Committee. She founded the All Nepal Women’s Association Nepal (ANWA) as well as the Forum for the Protection of Human Rights and is currently the President of the Woman Study Center. Minister Gyawali holds a MA in Political Science from the North Eastern Hill University Meghalaya, India.

Episode 4: Judiciary

16 October 2014

This episode is focused on the CA’s discussion on contentious matters related to the judiciary in the new constitution.


1. Hon. Mr. Agni Kharel is a Politburo Member and the Chief Whip of the Communist Party of Nepal – United Marxist Leninist (CPN-UML). Mr. Kharel was nominated as a Constituent Assembly Member by Cabinet decision in June 2014. He was also a Member of the first CA (2008-2012) and a Member of Task Force to Negotiate Constitutional issues. Mr. Kharel is a Senior Advocate and known as an intellectual leader in his party.

2. Mr. Purna Man Shakya is one of Nepal’s leading lawyers with extensive experience in a wide range of practice areas. He is regarded as one of Nepal’s leading constitutional experts. He has been acknowledged as an eminent lawyer by Chambers Asia pacific since 2009. He has a B.A (Hons) in Political Science, and an L.L.B and LL.M form Delhi University. He was a Gold Medalist in his LL.M class of 1985 and received his L.L.M in Corporate Law from Columbia University as a Fulbright Scholar.

Episode 5: Federalism

23 October 2014

Federalism is the most debated and anticipated issue in Nepal. The main debates on federalism are the name, number and boundaries of the subnational units (provinces). This episode is focused on the discussion going on inside and outside the CA and the possible meeting points for consensus.


1. Hon. Mr. Narahari Acharya is the Minister of Law, Justice, Constituent Assembly, and Parliamentary Affairs in Nepal. He is one of the senior leaders of Nepali Congress Party. He has been involved with Nepali Congress since 1968 however he took the party membership only in 1997. He became a member of the National Assembly in 1992. He holds a Master's Degree in Nepali Literature from Tribhuwan University (TU) Kathmandu in 1976. He lectured at TU and Trichandra College before actively joining politics. He has published several books and published several articles in Nepali newspapers and magazines.

2. Professor Dr. Krishna Hachhethu is a well-known political analyst in Nepal. He is professor of political science at Tribhuvan University and was a visiting Scholar at Wolfson College, University of Oxford, UK. He was an international observer for provincial Elections in Sri Lanka in 1993 and UN Observer for General Elections in South Africa in 1994. He has conducted extensive research on politics and Governance in Nepal and South Asia and authored and co-authored several books in this area. He has also published several scholarly articles in various journals and publications and presented several papers in national and international forums.

Episode 6: Judiciary

30 October 2014

This episode focused on the suggestions related to the courts and the judiciary submitted by the Supreme Court of Nepal to the High Level Dialogue Committee.


1. Ms. Pushpa Bhusal was a member of Interim Constitution (2007) Drafting Committee and a former Member of Nepal’s Constituent Assembly (2008-12). She was the Chair of the Legislative Parliament’s Truth and Reconciliation Drafting Subcommittee (2009-2011). She is a Senior Advocate at the Supreme Court of Nepal as well as Central Committee Member and the Head of the Legal and Constitutional Department of the Nepali Congress Party. She completed an undergraduate degree in law and postgraduate degree in Political Science from Tribhuvan University Kathmandu Nepal. She worked as a lecturer of International Politics and Law at Ratna Rajya Laxmi Campus for 10 years. She has published multiple articles and research papers in various areas such as gender equality, security and politics and law.

2. Mr. Khim Lal Devkota was a practicing lawyer at the Supreme Court of Nepal from 1990 to 2005. In 2006, he became a member of the Interim Constitution Drafting Committee and then the Interim Legislature Parliament of Nepal. He is a former Member of Nepal’s Constituent Assembly (2008-12). Mr. Devkota is a Director on the Board of the Institute of Crisis Management Studies (ICMS) Nepal. He has been actively involved in the human rights movement of Nepal for more than two decades and published widely in the areas of constitutional, administrative and human rights law. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Law and two Master’s degrees in Political Science and Sociology/Anthropology from Tribhuvan University Kathmandu Nepal.

Episode 7: Negotiations on Constitutional Recommendations

6 November 2014

This episode discusses the report of the Constitutional Political Dialogue and Consensus Committee to be submitted to the Constituent Assembly, the alternative proposal submitted by Nepali Congress and Communist Party of Nepal (unified Marxist- Leninist) (CPN–UML), and reaction of the Unified Communist Party of Nepal Maoist on the alternative proposal.


1. Shankar Pokhrel is the Central Secretary of CPN-UML. He came into politics by joining the student protest of 1979. He served as the President of the All Nepal National Free Student Union (ANNFSU) and the Chair of the Free Students Union (FSU) of the Tribhuvan University in 1989. He was elected as Member of Parliament in the parliamentary election of 1994. He is the former member of Constituent Assembly of Nepal (2008 2012) and held the post of Minister for Information and Communications (2009). He holds a MBA degree from the Tribhuvan University Kathmandu.

2. Hon. Top Bahadur Rayamajhi is the Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) Member of the Constituent Assembly of Nepal (2013-2017) He was a Member the 2008-2012 Constituent Assembly of Nepal and is a Central Committee Member of his party. He was appointed Minister for Physical Planning (2011) and, subsequently, Minister for Local Development (2011).

Episode 8: Electoral Systems

13 November 2014

This episode looks at comparative international experience on electoral systems and their application in Nepal.


1. Mr. Kåre Vollan is an international electoral expert. Mr. Vollan is Managing Director and owner of the consultancy company, Quality AS, which is based in Norway. He received his Masters (MSc) from the Institute for Mathematics, University of Oslo. He is currently assisting the Election Commission of Nepal on election law issues and providing advice to Constitutional Assembly Members on constitutional election provisions. Mr. Vollan has many election related publications to his credit.

Episode 9: CA Constitution Building Process

20 November 2014

This episode is focused on how to break the deadlock related to the drafting Nepal’s new constitution.


1. Professor Lok Raj Bajral is the Executive Chairman of the Nepal Centre for Contemporary Studies (NCCS), Kathmandu. He served as Professor and Chairman of the Department of Political Science at Tribhuvan University from 1976 to 1989. He has served as the President of various organizations including the Nepal Political Science Association. Professor Baral was a member of the delegation to the United Nations General Assembly in 1990, the former Ambassador of Nepal to India (1996–1997) and visiting Professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA. He is the author of many scholarly articles and publications.

2. Professor Chaitanya Misra is a political analyst, leading sociologist and influential public figure in Nepal. He did his PhD in sociology from the University of Florida (1978) and taught at Tribhuvan University (TU) for more than three decades. He has served several governmental and non-governmental organizations including as a Member of the National Planning Commission Nepal (1994-1995) and as a frequent consultant to the UN system in Nepal. He was one of two principal authors of the Nepal Human development Report 1998. He also prepared the draft of the Millennium Development Goals Progress Report, 2002. He was the founding chairperson of the department of Sociology/ Anthropology at TU in 1981-82. He has written and co-edited several books.

Episode 10: CA Constitution Building Process

4 December 2014

The first part of this episode looks at the attempt to end the long deadlock of the constitution building process by providing to the Chair of the Constitutional Political Dialogue and Consensus Committee with the discretion to present a proposal to the CA. This part the discussion also looks at the reasons for the UCPN Maoist’s dissent with this process and how that party wants to proceed. The second part of this episode focuses on public views and opinions on the new constitution.


1. First Part - Narayan Kaji Shrestha (Prakash) began his political career in 1976. His political life includes three years in prison and nineteen years underground. He subsequently served as a politburo member and later he took leadership of the CPN- Unity Centre for 8 years. He became deputy chair of the UCPN-Maoist after the unification between then CPN-Maoist and CPN-Unity center in 2008. He served as a Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Home Affairs in the cabinet and then as Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister and Local Development Minister in the 2008-2012 Legislative Parliament-Constituent Assembly. He played the key role in bringing the government and then agitating CPN-Maoist in the peace dialogue.

2. Second Part- Mr. Hari Sharma is a well-known political scientist in Nepal. He served as political advisor to former Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala and now serves as political adviser to the President of Nepal. Mr. Sharma also serves as the Director of Alliance for Social Dialogue Nepal. He has written several articles in national and international journals and also serves as an advisor of the Social Science Baha (research think-tank organization).

Episode 11: CA Constitution Building Process

11 December 2014

This episode looks at the progress of the drafting of Nepal’s new constitution. Specifically it looks at whether or not discussions had yet reached the stage of drafting, as well as at the basic elements of how to draft a constitution.


1. Mr. Suryanathe Upadhyaya entered the Civil Service in 1970 and served the Government in various capacities for thirty-four years. He has held many high level positions including Permanent Secretary to various Ministries. He played an important role in preparing the legal regime for water resources and hydro-power development in the country as a senior member of the team to negotiate ‘the Mahakali Treaty’ with India on the Utilization and conservation of Mahakali River bordering between Nepal and India. He also served as Secretary to the Constitution Drafting Commission which drafted the Constitution of the Country in 1990 and served as Chief of the Commissioner of the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) Nepal from 2001 to 2006.

2. Mr. Madhav Poudel is the former Law Secretary, he has served as a Minister for Communication, and Information in the Khilraj Regmi- led Council of Ministers of Nepal in 2013 to 2014. He is a well-known legal expert and jurist in Nepal. He served as a Secretary to the Constitution Drafting Committee of the Interim Constitution 2007 and is an expert to review the draft text of the constitution to be promulgated by the current CA.

Episode 12: Political Discourse

18 December 2014

This episode focuses on the latest formal and informal political discussions taking place both inside and outside of the Constituent Assembly (CA), specifically on the report submitted by Constitutional Political Dialogue and Consensus Committee to the CA on 5 December 2014.


1. Mr. Hridayesh Tripathi is Vice President of the Terai Madhesh Loktrantik Party. Mr. Tripathi joined the Communist Party led by Keshar Jung Rayamajhi in 1974. He was General Secretary of the Nepal Sadbhavana Party (Anandidevi) until he and Mahanta Thakur of the Nepali Congress Party formed the Terai Madhes Loktrantik Party (TMDP) in the wake of the Madhes Andolan in 2007. He represented the Nepal Sadbhavana Party (Anandidevi) in the dissolved House of Representatives in 2006. Mr. Tripathi was assigned various Cabinet portfolios during his years in Parliament. His political career includes two years underground, eight months in exile and twenty-one months in prison. He is a graduate in political science from the Institute of Oriental Science, Russia.

2. Mr. Bharatmohan Adhikari is a senior leader of the Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist-Leninist). Mr Adhikari is a lawyer by profession. He was jailed for more than 18 months during the Panchayat System in Nepal. He was one of the committee members to write the 1990 constitution of Nepal. He came up with the popular scheme “Afno Gau Afai Banau” (Build your own village), when he served as Finance Minister in 1994. He also served as Deputy Prime Minister of Nepal in 2011.