Wednesday, 24 February, 2021

Political Uncertainty

Prabha Panthi

Nepal has once again plunged into a political chaos with the dissolution of the House of Representatives (HoR). The ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) commanded almost two-thirds majority in the dissolved parliament. With this unpredicted dissolution of the HoR, the Himalayan nation faces uncertain political future with negative consequences for development.
Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli has insisted that he was forced to dissolve the HoR due to the 'state of inaction' caused by the intra-party feud. He blamed another NCP chair Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda and senior leader Madhav Kumar Nepal for the current mess. President Bidya Devi Bhandari announced that the polls would be held on April 30 and May 10 at the recommendation of the cabinet. But many people still doubt about the holding of the elections as scheduled.
Two communist parties -- Communist Party of Nepal (United Marxist and Leninist) led by KP Sharma Oli and Communist Party of Nepal -Maoist Centre, led by Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda - were united in February 2018. They also forged a poll alliance in the general elections. However, the dispute regarding the power sharing between the two chairs of the new party, Oli and Prachanda, started before the completion of unification.
More than a dozen writ petitions have been filed at the Supreme Court demanding the restoration of the Lower House. Hearings on the issue have also been going on. Legal experts have no idea when the court will give its final verdict on this contested issue.
Besides, many political parties, including a faction of the ruling NCP, led by former prime ministers Prachanda and Madhav Kumar Nepal, are staging nation-wide protests against the decision of the Prime Minister Oli to dissolve the parliament.
Every day, the capital city and other major cities across the country witness some kinds of protests staged by the political parties. Such protests have been impeding the business and economic activities of the nation. If things move ahead as planned, the country will be upgraded to the middle-income nation by 2022 and a developed one by 2030.
Like most of countries globally, Nepal has also been reeling from the coronavirus pandemic. Since the imposition of the coronavirus lockdown in March last year, the country’s economic sector has suffered a setback. Needless to say, the country had also faced a 10-year-long insurgency, killing more than 17,000 people and a huge destruction of public and private properties. In 2015, a devastating earthquake killed more than 9,000 people and damaged properties worth billions of rupees.
However, with the promulgation of the new constitution by the historic Constituent Assembly in 2015 and fresh polls following it, the country’s economic development process was expected to take off.
But contrary to it, the beautiful country, which shares two-thirds border with India and the rest with China, has now once again become a battle ground for the domestic political parties and a playground for foreign powers, pushing it towards long-term political turmoil, uncertainty and instability. 

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