Indi has written something more on the election, specifically on what appears to be the opposition's main platform-the abolishing of the executive presidency.
He highlights an issue that also worries me "Nobody is going to put themselves out of a job to see some other mutton-chop get it. "
This is a real danger. Power, once tasted is rarely given up. Remember that CBK promised to abolish the presidency when she campaigned in 1994? She then went on to serve both presidential terms. What guarantee do we have that even if an opposition candidate wins, the presidency will be abolished?
No real guarantee at all. If it is a joint candidate or a coalition pushing for the abolishment there is a slightly better chance- the coalition partners or alliance will have to hold the incumbent to the promise-and the deed will need to be done in the white-hot heat of the immediate aftermath. Any delay will be fatal.
As an added safeguard, the steps or the process that will be followed to abolish the presidency must be made public as part of the campaign. it may include the formation of a constitutional committee, perhaps with
international observers to guarantee that its objectives will be met.
People will then understand that there is a serious process in place to which some thought has been applied, not simply an electioneering slogan or gimmick.This will naturally add weight and substance to an opposition campaign.
An interim option could be that the 1978 Constitution be repealed entirely immediately on the change, restoring the 1972 constitution. My personal preference would be for the restoration of the 1946 constitution, the only truly good one that we had but it is politically impossible - the name of the country, the position of Buddhism being two of the issues that no politician will contemplate touching. The next best thing is the 1972 constitution. Flawed though it is, it is better than what we have.
Under the 1972 Constitution the office of the president will still remain, but in a purely ceremonial role. This will also have the added benefit of abolishing the evil provincial councils and banishing the horrible creatures who inhabit those bodies to eternal political limbo.
The constitutional committee can then either make amendments to the 1972 one or have the fresh on drafted. I wonder if the UN or some other body has a template of a constitution that can be adopted rapidly with few changes?
Any further thoughts on this?