Thursday, 28 October, 2021

Polls End Uncertainty

The Prime Minister a week ago recommended the dissolution of the House of Representatives and dates for general elections. Before the PM's decision, President Bidya Devi Bhandari on May 21 had rejected the claims of Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli and Nepali Congress president Sher Bahadur Deuba to the premiership post, prodding the Prime Minister to make his recommendation to her. Earlier, Prime Minister Oli and Deuba had staked conflicting claims to form the new government as per Article 75 (6) after the President had called the leaders to form the new government. However, the claims from both leaders failed to convince the President as both of them had proposed their candidacy by submitting similar names of the HoR members.

The President's move appeared to have come to save the country from falling into a constitutional crisis. Before the President took the constitutionally-mandated step, the Lower House of parliament had already exercised experienced all constitutional provisions, such as Article 76 (1), (2) and (3), being exhausted. The Prime Minister, after seeing that he would not be able to win the trust vote again after he had lost the same two weeks ago, had honestly paved the way for the formation of the new government as per Article 76 (5), which the leaders, including the PM himself, failed by submitting unconvincing claims to the President.

However, the opposition parties along with some rebel UML leaders termed the President's move a regressive one, which nevertheless lacked any truth. Elections are indeed the most suitable way to resolve the ongoing political crisis that has come to haunt the nation for the past several months. In his address to the nation on the eve of Republic Day on Friday, PM Oli precisely stated general elections were indispensable for political stability and organising and participating in an election cannot be termed a regressive move. Gaining people's mandate through periodic elections is the hallmark of democracy. At this crucial juncture when the country is facing challenges from the life-threatening coronavirus pandemic, the opposition parties, which are vying to topple the Oli-led government, have created frustration towards the multi-party system which should not have happened at any cost.

Instead of getting involved in futile political game, the opposition parties should have joined hands with the government to defeat the virus and take the nation on the path of prosperity and development. The PM, while prioritising the nation's and people's well-being, even called the opposition parties to unite with him to form a national government under his leadership. The opposition parties must consider the gravity of the situation and abstain from flexing political muscle to undermine the elections. They must participate in the polls and accept the people's mandate cast through ballots. The November general elections are indeed the most viable option to end all political uncertainties. Once the parties and leaders participate in the polls and the results are obtained, the triumphant would certainly take the helm, thereby ending the uncertainties that have marred our politics for the last couple of years.