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Narrative Report of a Program on Role of Trade Unions in Constituent Assembly Election

Organised by Democratic Confederation of Nepalese Trade Unions (DECONT)

4-5 July 2007, Lalitpur


At present, Nepal is passing through different political balks. Although it has been 55 years since demands have been made for the framing of Nepal's constitution through constituent assembly, it has been materialized only after the historical people's movement 2006. Even after the introduction of interim constitution, people do not feel that their rights are guaranteed. Now the country is heading towards the constituent assembly election, which is scheduled to be held on 22 November 2007. Nepalese people, except a handful of them, are unaware of the process of constituent assembly election. At the same time, they are very optimistic about its consequences. Considering these facts, as a responsible trade union, Democratic Confederation of Nepalese Trade Unions (DECONT) organized a programme entitled 'Role of Trade Unions in CA Election' at Lalitpur on 4-5 July 2007. Altogether 70 participants from different level of union structure took part in the programme where renowned political analytics like Dr. Dev Raj Dahal, Mr Kashi Raj Dahal, Mr Bhimarjun Acharya took part as resource persons and former minister and Secretary General, NCD Mr. Bimalendra Nidhi, Mr.Dev Raj Dahal addressed the opening ceremony of the programme. Mr Khila Nath Dahal, Acting President, DECONT chaired the opening and closing session of the program.

First day

Inaugural Session:

A brief inaugural ceremony was organized for formal inauguration of the workshop and chief guest for the ceremony was former minister and Secretary General of Nepali Congress (D) Bimalendra Nidhi. The program was chaired by Brother Khila Nath Dahal, Acting President, DECONT. Presented at the occasion as special guests was Dr. Dev Raj Dahal, Country representative of FES, other guests and other well-wisher of DECONT. The workshop was inaugurated by Chief Guest and other participants clapped together. Welcome speech was delivered by Sis. Rama Paudel. After that Dr Dev Raj Dahal, Former minister Bimalendra Nidhi delivered the speech about the Constituent Assembly and the role of trade unions. At the last of the opening session brother Khila Nath Dahal closed the inaugural session by raising the issues of workers and workers representation and workers rights in the Constituent Assembly election.

Business Session:

After the inaugural session, a brief introduction session was held where participants, presented guests and resource persons introduced themselves on the basis of personal as well as organizational background. Thereafter, formal workshop was started with session which was facilitated by Dr Dev Raj Dahal on the topics " Nation Building and Social Transformation in Nepal: Present Scenario as well as he also put forward few policy recommendations for CA election to the government and role of workers. After the deliberation, an open discussion was also held for about 40 minutes in which 10 participants took part and raised the voice and experiences about CA election.

The next session of the workshop was on 'CA election and Workers participation" that was facilitated by Bro. Bhimarjun Acharya where he described about definition, meaning and legal provision of CA election. He also discussed about the existing such provisions both national and international the government and workers. Thereafter an open discussion was also held for around one hour and 15 participants raised their concern on the CA election and legal aspects.

Second Day

Business Session:

Session of the next day was started with the recap of the first day activities. The entire participants and resources person recalled the last day activities and its outcomes. After it, next session was started and that was on 'CA Election: World Experience', which was facilitated by brother Kashi Raj Dahal where he discussed about how the workers play the role in CA election. During the session he discussed some examples of successful and unsuccessful CA election from the international experiences and its international provisions as well as obtaining strategies for CA election by other countries and there workers participation in the election. He also added how we can enhance workers capacities to make successful CA election in Nepal in the present political scenario. He shared international experiences among the participants and compared it with provision of CA election in interim constitution of Nepal. He presented policies and Organizing Strategies for CA election in national and international provision. Thereafter an open discussion was held for around one hour and 18 participants took part sharing their experiences.

The last session of the workshop was on "Role and Responsibility of DECONT in CA Election" that was presented by brother Khila Nath Dahal, acting President of DECONT. He presented some national and international experiences of trade unions in CA election. He also expressed his opinion and commitment for CA election of DECONT and its responsibility to make successful CA election. He mentioned that CA Election is not only challenges of TUs and workers but also opportunity of workers and trade unions. He said the future Action Plan of DECONT for that election on the behalf of the workers. At last, there was open discussion held for around 30 minutes and 12 participants took part in sharing their experiences.

Closing Session:

A brief closing session was held where Bro Khila Nath Dahal, acting president of DECONT chaired the program and other guests are also participated and addressed the program about subject matters. Brother Rishav Dev Ghimire, Deputy General Secretary and brother Dhrubha Chandra Gautam, Treasurer of DECONT deliberated the speech on the behalf of the organizer and they emphasized that CA election is not only challenges instead it is an immense opportunity for trade unions. Similarly, brother Sabirman B. K., General Secretary of Carpet workers Union of Nepal and sis. Amuda Shrestha, women former central member of DECONT, delivered the speech on the behalf of the participants. At the last of the program brother Dahal, chairman of the program closed the program after his short speech.

Copyright©2001. Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, Nepal Office
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