New Constitution : ‘Zero draft’ ready to go | Sunday Observer

New Constitution : ‘Zero draft’ ready to go

The much awaited report of the constitutional Expert Panel, also known as the ‘Zero draft’, which is expected to form the basis for the final draft of Constitution, will be presented to the Steering Committee when they meet on Wednesday, July 18, authoritative sources told the Sunday Observer.

The sources said the Expert Panel report is a discussion paper for consideration by the Constitutional Assembly (CA).

“At the meeting the party representatives might agree to adopt it as a basis for their final report or might refer it to their respective party legal consultants for advice,” the sources said, when asked what will happen after the report is submitted to the Multiparty Steering Committee.

“The future course of the whole process will be determined at Wednesday’s meeting,” the sources said.

Political parties failed to reach consensus on several core areas of a new Constitution such as the executive presidency, the merger of the North and the East and the electoral system at the time the interim report of the steering committee was finalised in September 2017. Hence, each party’s individual positions were annexed along with the Interim Report.

The mandate of the Expert Panel was to produce a suitable discussion paper incorporating political party representations annexed in the interim report, debates in the Constitutional Assembly and general representations by interest groups.

The Constitutional Assembly, represented by the whole Parliament, is expected to come up with a draft constitution, which is considered a political document until it is passed in Parliament with a two-thirds majority and approved at a referendum by the people.