With the announcement of midterm polls slated for April 30 and May 10 this year, the government and its relevant agencies have put best foot forward to conduct the elections in the stipulated timeframe. The fresh mandate is expected to solve the current political crisis as early as possible. Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli has said he dissolved the House of Representatives (HoR) after he did not receive desired level of support within the party. As the intra-party dispute came to a head, a serious deadlock hit the functioning of the government. The PM felt that it was good to go to the people instead of spending valuable time in futile intra-party bickering which has negative repercussions for the development, democracy and the country’s international prestige. The PM’s move to disband the House was challenged in the Supreme Court and it has been conducting hearing on over a dozen writs against the move. All are keenly waiting for the court verdict that can give a clear direction to the nation’s conflict-ridden politics.
In Nepal, party-government dispute has paralysed the executive in the past also. As a result, more than one prime ministers had dissolved the parliament. Though it is not a popular step, mid-term polls are seen as the only viable option to end the deepening impasse. Various factors triggered the internal rift leading to the collapse of the government mandated to fulfil the public expectations. Incompatible position among the key leaders caused trust deficit and blame games. PM Oli has said that his patriotic position and government achievements were not well received by a section of leaders in the party.
While addressing a mass meeting in Butwal the other day, PM Oli, also the chairman of his-led faction of Nepal Communist Party (NCP), said that the intra-party dispute in the NCP began after the government unveiled revised political map of Nepal by including the territories of Lipulek, Limpiyadhura and Kalapani. According to a news report of this daily, PM Oli also defended his decision to go for the snap poll, stating that it was constitutional step taken using the prerogatives of the Prime Minister as per Article 76 and Article 85 of the Constitution. He has rightly observed that going to electorate for election of new people’s representatives can’t be regressive as claimed by a section of the people.
It is the sovereign people who will seal the fate of parties at the ballot box. However, the PM’s decision to go to the people should be taken with positive note because when the head of the government confronts unintended trouble while implementing the policies and programmes framed in line with the electoral promise, s/he has right to test the popular mandate. After all, election provides oxygen to democracy. Periodic polls offer an opportunity to update the system and send fresh deputies into the legislative wing. The widening cracks within the ruling NCP has threatened the stability and the federal democratic ethos. Therefore, it is imperative for the political parties to put up their line of arguments before the voters and seek approval from the people.