Tuesday, 18 January, 2022

Call For Unity

Citizens look up to political parties and leaders whenever a country passes through a crisis. Ditto is true about Nepal and the Nepalis. Since the time the nation was transformed into a federal democratic state, the people have reposed their faith in leaders and parties, which have reciprocated positively on several occasions to respect the people's trust in them. They have launched various political movements and struggles in unison to realise the people's aspirations. This was quite evident when our political parties and leaders joined forces to prepare and implement a federal democratic constitution through the Constituent Assembly. The new constitution has so far addressed many of the people's concerns and demands.

Camaraderie and bonhomie among the political parties and leaders can resolve many crises that our country has gone through and will face in the days ahead. This is the message Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba effectively sent across when he addressed the inauguration of the 10th convention of the main opposition party, the CPN-UML at the banks of the Narayani River in Chitwan district on Friday. Extending his best wishes for the success of the UML's national convention, PM Deuba called on all political parties, including the main opposition, to remain united in the task of nation-building, as they had once united while drafting and implementing the present constitution. He precisely underscored the need for such unity: maintaining the rule of law, safeguarding democracy and national sovereignty and achieving prosperity must be a shared goal of all political parties.

It is quite noteworthy that the Prime Minister, also the president of the ruling Nepali Congress, and former Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli, the chair of the UML, had shared the same podium after a hiatus of five months following the formation of the Deuba-led five-party coalition government after Oli's government was ousted. PM Deuba, however, had exhibited his magnanimity as the nation's executive head to attend the UML convention where he had put forth his significant views on how any crisis faced by politics and the nation could be resolved through unity. In the meantime, the chair of the UML, Oli, too had aired his party's stance on the task of nation-building and achieving prosperity through the development and economic welfare of the people. He also highlighted the need to protect democracy, sovereignty and advance international relations based on cooperation.

The ruling and the main opposition parties appear to be on the same page when it comes to the task of nation-building. However, the opposition party under Oli has not yet been forthcoming in cooperating with the ruling coalition regarding many pressing issues. When the House session was taking place, the UML was heavily engaged in disrupting the parliament's proceedings, leading to the failure of many laws from getting endorsed. Likewise, it has not come forward with resolving the problems besetting the country's judiciary at present. Despite the PM's passionate call for unity and cooperation in serious matters of state, the opposition appears to be in wait-and-see mode, which indeed ill behoves the UML given its strength and responsibility in the parliament. Instead of engaging in such dilly-dallying, it should come forward to give them a timely exit sooner rather than later.