Post-election drama continues at the expense of popular mandate

KATHMANDU- The Nepali people have been longing for political stability in the country for a very long time. Ever since, democracy was restored in 1990 at the force of the first janandolan, Nepal is yet to experience political stability, thanks to our ‘ever-bickering’ power-hungry political leaders and their parties. They make sure that any opportunity provided for a longer stability is wasted at the expense of the nation as a whole.
Frustrated for a very instable political environment since Nepal began the peace process post the 10-year-old armed conflict in 2006, the Nepali voters trusted the pledge made for a politically stable environment and accelerated economic development by the left alliance made up basically of the CPN-UML and the CPN-Maoist parties. Accordingly, they gave the alliance a very comfortable majority in the first ever parliament of federal Nepal, which would allow it to run the country for a good five years.
However, with almost a month since the election, there is no sight of a new government and the process of giving complete shape to the federal parliament has been unnecessarily delayed. The election of the House of Representatives, the lower house has been completed and the results of the first-past-the-post election have also been announced. However, the election of the National Assembly, the upper house is yet to take place. And hence, the result of the proportional representation (RP) system of the election of even the HoR has not been announced, with the Election Commission arguing that the result of the NA election is required for the same.
The process however for the NA election has been initiated with the EC appealing to the political parties to register for the election. Just a day after the announcement, the President has endorsed an ordinance that the government had submitted to the Office of the President for the election of the National Assembly. The Office of the President had kept the ordinance on hold for more than a month, after the main opposition CPN-UML raised objection to the choosing of single-transferable voting system against the majority system for election of members of the National Assembly. The legislation for the NA election had to be passed by the erstwhile Legislature-Parliament, but it could not materialize after the parties disagreed over the choice between the STV and the majority system.
Considering the objection by the UML, the President tried to reach a political consensus over the issue. The president organised joint and one-to-one deliberations with the political parties and their leaders but could not help bring them onboard. As a result, going by her constitutional duties, she had no choice than to endorse the ordinance recommended by the Council of Ministers. The delay itself had brought the Office of the President into a debate, with the parties, the media, the intellectuals and even the lawyers expressing their opinions in the public in support and against the Ordinance.
In the meantime, the purported unity between the CPN-UML and the CPN (MC) has also experienced several bottlenecks, with the two major posts of the party Chair and the premiership becoming the major bone of contention. Like, the legislation on the NA election, the procedure for the unity between the two communist parties too was not clearly outlined and agreed upon, before the election took place. And now both sides have their own interpretation about the same. While many UML leaders have voiced their opinion for the current Chair of the UML leading both the new party and the new government, the MC leaders are of the view that one of the two posts should automatically go to their party. And, news report have also appeared of the clandestine agreement said to have been reached between the two chairs of the two parties to share the post of the Prime Minister for 2.5 five years each.
These developments however come in utter disregard of the mandate of the recently held elections. With the constitution making process completed and the peace process nearing to an end, the hope of the people is now to see socio-economic development take speed. And it was with this aspiration that people turned out to vote in significant number and voted the parties that promised them stability and speedy socio-economic development. However, it seems nothing has changed, neither in the parties that won and those that lost in the election. Both the sides are showing short-term interest only, with five more years to go for the next election. The winning side is behaving as if they have a free hand for the next five years while those who lost think there is nothing more to lose for now, we will see when the elections arrive next.
All the tall promises made in the lead up to the election seems to have been forgotten and parties including their leaders are now back to their normal life of bickering, blame-game, internal strife, backstabbing, nepotism and squabbling for power. And once again the Nepali voters feel dismayed but are helpless, until the next election. They can only pray that some sense prevails over the people they have chosen to represent them for the next five years.


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