Monday, 18 January, 2021

Elections For An Outlet

With the announcement of mid-term elections for the House of Representatives (HoR) slated for next year, dramatic events are unfolding in the political realm with each passing day. The parties have been divided over the dissolution of the Lower House while the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) is headed for formal split. The establishment and disgruntled factions held their separate meetings of lawmakers on Monday and central committee members on Tuesday. Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli had briefed the lawmakers about the factors leading to the dissolution of House. Similarly, the PM’s opponents took a swipe at him, terming the disbanding of House as unconstitutional and undemocratic in the gatherings of lawmakers who have stood against it. On Tuesday, the CC meetings, separately convened by the two groups, took disciplinary action against each other’s leader.

About a dozen writs have landed in the Supreme Court, demanding the reinstatement of the HoR. The NCP’s disgruntled faction has joined opposition parties to hit the streets against the PM’s move. Now it has become clear that political uncertainty continues until the SC makes its verdict on the matter. However, going for the fresh mandate is the best democratic option when an elected dispensation is denied to fulfil the popular mandate. It is wrong to let the shadow of intra-party feud fall into the performance of the government. In his address to the nation on Monday, Prime Minister Oli said that he was compelled to go before the sovereign people because of the impasse created in national politics by endless futile disputes. The parliament had been made useless and the elected government had been brought under siege through protests and non-cooperation, he said.

As the PM admitted, actually, nobody had thought that the country would go for a fresh mandate one-and-half years before elections were due but emerging situation triggered the current situation. Some leaders within the party showed their irrational inclination for power, post and prestige, and always created problems for this administration, severely affecting its ability to deliver goods and services to the people. The party’s non-cooperation and unwillingness to own up the government’s works and achievements have negatively hampered its determination to implement the lofty motto – Prosperous Nepal, Happy Nepali. Despite many an obstacle, the Oli government has made some significant gains ranging from improving governance system to consolidating nationalism, global image and foreign relations with the neighbours.

Oli is the first PM to show the guts to publish the map by incorporating those territories encroached upon by India. His government became successful to transform Nepal into a land-linked nation from land-locked one by securing access to Chinese sea ports. Of late, the bilateral relationship with India has moved on right track after a spell of serious tension and deadlock over the publication of maps from both sides. It is widely felt that domestic and geopolitical elements came into full play to put the skids under the plan and work of the government. As a result, Oli took a compulsive move that appears unpopular but it, in fact, is the very step that all democrats tend to follow. Therefore, all political parties, civil society members, media and common people should make up their mind for the upcoming polls scheduled for April 30 and May 10 of 2021. This is the only credible way to sort out the gigantic political dilemma the nation is reeling from at the moment. 

How do you feel after reading this news?