Thursday, February 20, 2014

Parties for power; people and country in oblivion

Yuba Nath Lamsal
Ultimately it is the general populace that suffers the most when nation’s politics goes erratic and ceases to function on the basis of universally accepted democratic rules, norms and values.  When democratic values and norms are trampled, it creates the situation that only leads to dictatorship. This is exactly the situation that had paved the way for the rise of Hitler in democratic Germany and Ferdinand Marcos in Philippines.
Germany’s Weimer constitution was one of the most democratic constitutions in the world. But under the same constitution, Hitler rose to power and unleashed his Nazi holocaust, a blot on the history of human civilization. The rulers in Germany infringed upon democratic and constitutional norms and values one after another under different pretext, which ultimately invited a great disaster on human civilization. Similarly, Ferdinand Marcos of Philippines was the most popular politician and a democratic icon in the beginning. However, power corrupted him so badly that he was later known as one of world’s worst dictator to be ultimately deposed by the same people, who had once rallied behind him.  This is because people who went to power and exercised state authority tended to behave and act like divine authority forgetting their own past history but also ignoring and bypassing political and democratic norms and values.
Nepal’s democratic experiences and exercises also tend to meet similar fate that we frequently met in the past. Our leaders often talk tall about moral and democratic principles, values and norms. But once they go to power, they forget their promises and values they championed and bent on acting like a dynastic dictators or military administrators. This is the reason why the Nepalese people had to fight three decisive battles for democracy in 1951, 1990 and 2005. The parties and others often blame the monarchy for the failure of democracy in Nepal. This claim is, to a large extent, true because it was always the monarchy that trampled democracy and imposed authoritarian rule in Nepal. But the behavior and activities of the parties, too, are responsible for giving opportunity to the monarchs to play against democracy in Nepal.
The history of Nepal’s democratic polity is relatively young. It is only 63 years since we Nepalese people started exercising and experimenting democracy way back in 1951. After having been under the century old Rana’s family rule, Nepalese people rose against the oligarchic tyranny and were able to establish multi-party democracy in 1951 to be trampled by the king within ten years or in 1961. The decade-long period of democratic Nepal from 1951 to 1961 was marked by a height of instability and frequent change of governments with parties and leaders fighting badly against one another. The parties and leaders had little or almost no experience of democratic governance and they could not fully cope with the new democratic dispensation. Had it been for merely a couple of years after the establishment of democracy, it would have been tolerable. But the parties kept on repeating mistakes and bent merely on partisan and personal benefits and blaming one another. Most of the parties were used by the monarchy and some diligently offered their services, willingly or out of ignorance, to the monarch to play against democracy. However, the largest political force the Nepali Congress, which had led the 1950 revolution, failed to grasp the situation and its consequence and also could not bring other democratic political forces together for the cause of democracy, stability and development in the country. Instead, the Congress leaders themselves got bogged down in a nasty power struggle within the party that ultimately led to the split in the Nepali Congress. The commander of 1951 revolution, Matrika Prasad Koirala, not being able to retain his leadership and upper hand in the Nepali Congress in the leadership rivalry with his younger brother BP Koirala, chose to split the Nepali Congress party and aligned with the king. Despite winning a landslide ( two-thirds) victory in the first ever parliamentary election for forming its own government headed by BP Koirala, Nepali Congress was unable to curtail and contain king’s ambition and power that ultimately turned out fatal not only to the Nepali Congress itself but to the country, people and the nascent democracy.
Emboldened by fraction ridden politics and lack of unity among democratic forces, king Mahendra disbanded the democratically elected government of the Nepali Congress and its prime minister in less than two years in power. This was a black day in Nepal’s democratic history that continued for three decades in the name Panchayat under direct rule of the king only to be brought down through a popular movement in 1990. The political change in 1990 that restored multi-party democracy, too, saw highly partisan politics in Nepal mainly between two forces the rightist Nepali Congress and the communists or the CPN-UML.  Saddled on power through popular vote in the first parliamentary election after 1990 political change, the Nepali Congress adopted ultra capitalist and rightist economic policies that disillusioned the majority of the poor people. Although, the CPN-UML was elected to power in the second parliamentary election, this party, too, failed to offer genuine alternative policies, except some cosmetic and minor populist programmes. In the meantime, a radical communist party launched an armed insurgency against the state with its declared policy and objective of establishing a one-party republican communist state in a model China did in 1949 led by Mao Zedong under the banner of the Chinese Communist Party. The monarchy that had lost power in the wake of popular movement in 1990 found the state of mayhem caused mainly by the decade-long armed insurgency that had virtually taken control almost 85 per cent of the country’s territories a good ground to take back the lost power. King Gyanendra finally chose to gamble by again taking over power marginalizing political parties, which proved costly not only to Gyanendra himself but to over 240 year old institution of monarchy itself.  Gyanendra’s political misadventure of 21st century provided a ground for agitating parliamentarian parties and the insurgent guerilla group or the Maoists to join hand and launch a decisive battle against the monarchy that ultimately dump the 240 year Nepal’s Shah monarchy into the trash of history.
This is how the present state of republican system was ushered in Nepal which is in the phase of formally being institutionalized. But the state of uncertainty, confusion and skepticism still loom large in Nepal’s political horizon. The last six years following the Jana Andolan II have virtually gone wasted as we saw no concrete political achievements on institutionalizing the achievements of the popular uprising. There were two fundamental tasks to be accomplished during the last six years. These two central tasks included formally concluding the peace process and promulgating the new constitution incorporating all the achievements and agendas of Jana Andolan.  But our parties have failed in both of these tasks. The peace process is half-baked, while the constitution writing process has just re-started. But the parties that are supposed to settle these issues at the earliest are at loggerheads on non-issue of government formation and the ministerial portfolios. This is a glaring example where our parties’ priorities lie. This may be an indication that they are not willing to give a country a constitution within the period they have promised.
As priorities of the people distracted, people’s worries are multiplying. People have already suffered multiple burdens and problems owing to instability and anarchy. If the bizarre state of politics was not settled at the earliest by resolving all the contentious issues and giving the country a new constitution based on national consensus, the country’s future is bound to be doomed permanently. In such a situation, people may rise again to revolt against the present political actors and look for an alternative force and system. The political parties are, therefore, required to visualize this scenario and act in a responsible manner. But the way the Nepali Congress and the CPN-UML are behaving and acting by bypassing other forces and parties both within and outside the Constituent Assembly, they are not willing to give the country a new constitution to be acceptable for all sections and sectors of the country but merely want to enjoy government’s perks and positions by sharing power. It seems power is the fundamental driving force for these parties but not the people and the country. This state of situation may invite yet another storm in our politics.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

CPN-UML correcting course

Yuba Nath Lamsal
Politics is supposed to be a power to empower the people—mostly the powerless and voiceless. That is what democratic polity should strive for and that should be the fundamental principle of democracy. Unfortunately though, this is not the case in the contemporary democratic politics of Nepal. So Nepal’s politics is most unpredictable. Morale, values and principles hardly matter in Nepali politics and what matters is power.
It is, thus, said ‘politics makes strange bedfellow’. This is what exactly has happened in the internal politics of the CPN-UML—the second largest party in the Constituent Assembly. In the newer twist of events in the internal politics of CPN-UML, the arch rivals have become bosom friends, whereas friends have turned foes. What made these two arch rivals come together and form an alliance? Is this their own making or some external factors, too, are behind this? Will Oli-Bamdev alliance will go be permanent arrangement that will go a long way or this is just a temporary truce to be broken anytime? These are some of the questions that remain unanswered. Perhaps the future events and developments alone will unravel the reality.
To understand the real nature of equation and behavior of the UML leaders, one needs to go little back to its history. The CPN-UML is an offshoot of the mainstream Communist Party of Nepal founded by late Puspalal Shrestha way back in 1949. Within the short period of its founding, the party suffered factionalism and personality clash, which ultimately split the party and disintegrated the communist movement in Nepal. On the surface, it was the ideological orientation and political line that led the leaders to break the party but the real motive of the split was personal rivalry among senior leaders in which external factors too played role. In course of time, the party was disintegrated into different factions, while at the same time, some efforts were made to bring different splintered groups into one umbrella and create a strong revolutionary party. The CPN-UML was formed and reorganized due to this process made by some enthusiastic youth revolutionary leaders.
A violent peasant movement broke out in 1971 in Jhapa of eastern Nepal led and supported by revolutionary communist youths, in which some landlords were assassinated. This was the foundation of the reorganization of a new revolutionary communist party in the name of Communist Party of Nepal (Marxist-Leninist), which was later renamed as the Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist and Leninist).
The formation of the CPN-ML was a process of reunifying and re-organizing the disintegrated communist movement in Nepal. The CPN-ML was formed in 1978 by bringing together some splinter communist groups especially working in east Nepal, thanks largely to the initiative taken by Chandra Prakash Mainali or CP Mainali, who also became its first general secretary.  Right after the formation, this party made tremendous efforts in consolidating the organizational base nationwide and become a mainstream party. The unification process continued and major shift in its organizational life witnessed in 1990 when yet another unification process took place. This unification was between the Communist Party of Nepal (Marxist) led by Manmohan Adhikari and the CPN-ML led by Madan Bhandari and the new party’s name was given the Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist and Leninist) or CPN-UML, which is one of the dominant parliamentary communist parties at present.
After this unification the CPN-UML went through a major shift in ideological standing so was its leadership and factional rivalry. The then general secretary Madan Bhandari introduced People’s Multi-Party Democracy or PMPD as its political line clearly departing from new democracy and it was adopted by the party in its fifth national congress. This also marked the shift in its guiding principle from Marxism-Leninism-Mao Zedong Thought to Marxism-Leninism.
Since the fifth national congress, the party has seen much up and down in its organizational structure, popular base, political journey and internal power equation but the PMDP has continued to remain the guiding political philosophy.  But party’s principal leadership has gone to the hands of those who were opposed to the PMPD. When the party adopted PMPD as its guiding political philosophy in the fifth congress, Man Mohan Adhikari was chosen as its chief or chairman, who was critical of the PMPD right from the beginning. Adhikari continued to remain the party chief until his demise and the position of party chairperson was kept suspended until the ninth national congress. When the position of party chairperson was revived in the ninth congress, another critic of the PMPD Jhala Nath Khanal was quick to grab the post, which could not have been more ironic than this. The irony is: party’s political line is PMPD whereas its principal leadership has always been someone who has opposed the political line including Jhalanath Khanal.
This irony and discrepancy in the political line and principal leadership is the fundamental reason behind factional fighting and split in the party. As CPN-UML abandoned Mao Thought as its guiding political philosophy, the CPN-Maoist was quick to cash in on this situation and adopted Maoism as its principal political principle based on which it launched a decade long insurgency. The contradiction in the political line and the principal leadership led the CPN-UML to split in which a major section of the leaders and cadres including Bamdev Gautam quit the party. Although Bamdev Gautam returned to the party again majority of the leaders and cadres did not follow Gautam instead they either joined the UCPN-Maoist or remained inactive.
The CPN-UML is a party with different factions and groups fighting one another. If we look at the present power equation in the party, there seem to be two large factions and several other sub-factions within these two factions. The two large factions include: KP Oli-Bamdev Gautam faction and Jhalanath Khanal-Madhav Nepal faction. There are four factions within Oli-Bamdev factions, which include Oli group, Bamdev group, Ishwar Pokhrel group and Bishnu Poudel group. In the Khanal-Nepal faction too, two groups exist and function. They are Nepal faction and Khanal group. These factions and sub factions do not trust one another and are always at loggerheads to have upper hand in power and underestimate and weaken the other group.
This is the new power equation in the CPN-UML at present. But it constantly keeps on changing. It was different until a few weeks and a few months ago and it may change in future as well. Until a few months ago, a different kind of equation had existed in the CPN-UML, which has now taken a completely U-turn.  During the eighth national congress of the party held in Butwal, senior leaders like Jhalanath Khanal, Bamdev Gautam, Ishwar Pokhrel alike were together. Madhav Nepal chose to remain virtually indifferent. In the fierce fight for the post of chairperson of the party, Oli challenged Khanal but was defeated.
There were several factors behind Khanal’s victory and Oli’s defeat. Firstly, Khanal was the only senior leader who had won the election for Constituent Assembly and majority representatives saw Khanal as a possible savior of the party. Secondly, Madhav Nepal, who had earlier resigned from the post of general secretary on moral ground after the party lost the election, opted not to side with any of the two contenders. The third and important was Ishwar Pokhrel factor, whose presence and influence in the CPN-UML’s organizational base is strong. Pokhrel is known in the CPN-UML circle as the shrewd strategist and whichever camp he sides with becomes strong. Pokhrel supported Khanal for party chief.
After the eight congress, Nepal and Oli came together to build an alliance against Khanal faction.  But Khanal faction remained relatively stronger despite OLI-Nepal alliance. The power equation changed in the CPN-UML once Ishwar Pokhrel changed his loyalty and joined Oli camp detracting Khanal. At the same time, Madhav Nepal too changed his camp and developed close relations with Khanal and he kept distance from Oli. But this new alliance had not made much difference in earlier power equation in the CPN-UML. Khanal had still been maintaining slightly upper hand in the party. It changed once Bamdev Gautam changed camp that made Oli faction more influential and powerful. This was visible in the recently held election of UML parliamentary party election in which KP Oli comfortably won over Khanal with 23 votes out of 173.
As Oli appears to be stronger in the party, he is likely to be elected as the chairman of the CPN-UML in the ninth national congress to be held in a few months. Once Oli takes the helms of party’s leadership, the earlier discrepancy and contradiction will be over. Be it good or bad, party’s leadership should be given to one whose political line is adopted. This is a general practice in any party and more so in the communist party. Since PMPD is the guiding principle of the party, its leadership also should be given to its advocate and supporters but not its critics. KP Oli and Bamdev are the vocal advocate of the PMPD and Oli is, therefore, would be right choice for the CPN-UML.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Culprit behind discrediting democracy

Yuba Nath Lamsal
Democracy, as a political system, has attracted global attention and interest in the present 21st century. In other words, democracy has become a modern culture. One cannot deny democracy if one is to be regarded as the equal member of human society in the present context. But it remains to be seen what type of democracy we are really looking for.
This is the reason why democratic upsurge has swept all over the world forcing the dictators of various kinds to give in to the power of people.  This is how democratic society and regimes have been established in the world. The growing craze for democracy among the new generation of people has swept the world. As a result, many countries have adopted genuine democratic political or representative democracy. In some cases, rulers just try to give a kind of democratic fa├žade to the regimes just to escape public rage and international criticism. But there is one stark reality the world has witnessed at present is the fact that despite such a marvelous global popular upsurge in the march for democracy, the genuine democratization process has yet to evolve in many of the countries especially in the developing world. This has given much room to argue whether liberal democracy that we have been advocating is best suited to be able to tackle the bourgeoning crises that the world is facing. It has been often argued that the capitalist democracy is not the political system that would ensure genuinely representative democratic system and society. Election is, of course, the basic tenet of representative democracy. But the electoral system is designed in such a manner that the election held under this system hardly represents and exhibits the genuine feelings and representation of the people in the political superstructure and decision-making apparatus.
Given the electoral system and its results in the recently held election, many are now of the view that election is being used as a tool to grab power by those who already wield power and control resources. In order to win elections, it is said, politicians bribe voters with promises and handouts either in the form of cash or other methods, which makes election as a vote buying machine.  But once the election is over, the entire promises are ignored and politicians get bogged down in power grabbing game in which people and the country figure the least. When one wins the election with money and muscle power, it is natural for him/her to ensure that he/she recovers the money spent during the election and also earns more in order to finance the next election. This makes the representatives to seek lucrative posts and positions and make money through legal or otherwise methods. Thus, the representatives tend to ignore the people and national issues and needs. As a result, corruption becomes pervasive and institutionalized and democracy becomes a profit-making venture for politicians and their collaborators. This is how the fundamental spirit of democracy has already died.
What has happened in Nepal at present is exactly the same. The election in Nepal is becoming expensive, which only the rich people can afford to contest. Now business people, corrupts and crooks are making speedy inroad into political parties because of the expensive election system. Even some politicians have acknowledged this fact and demanded reforms in electoral system in order to protect the sanctity of the election. CPN-UML Chairman Jhalnath Khanal and Nepali Congress central leader Gagan Thapa have publicly spoken on the need of electoral reforms to make election affordable and check money power.
According to knowledgeable people, the least amount spent on the election by each candidate of major party was five million. But some candidates may have spent up to 50 million. The monthly perk of a lawmaker is 74,000 rupees a month and a lawmaker would take home slightly over 60,000 rupees a month after deducting taxes, which means the legal income of a lawmaker will be less than three million in four years for which the lawmakers have been elected. The lawmakers would not be able to earn even the amount they spend during the election campaign. This compels the lawmakers to seek some other methods to recover their money spent in the election and also earn for the next election. Since this cannot be done through legal sources, politicians and leaders, therefore, siphon off the fund of development projects into their pockets and promote corruption. Thus, the very political and electoral system has indirectly encouraged corruption and made mockery of democracy. If the electoral system was not reformed, our democracy would be an oligarchy of a few people including businessmen and corrupt politicians.

However, some argue that this kind of system is a part of the capitalist democracy in which money plays greater role than the people. In Nepal, we are exercising and experimenting capitalist democracy in which such practices and procedures are normal phenomenon. This is the reason why our democracy is feeble and fragile. Since money, muscle and might play greater role in election and political process, people’s genuine causes take a back seat.
Once gone to power, one often tries to remain power for ever and personalize politics. As a result, institutional development takes a back seat even when the so-called democratic system is in place. The problem begins with the fear of losing power as out of power means out of access to resources. Parties and politicians, thus, resort to all kinds of tactics and method to retain power. This is the real culprit that has hindered the process of democratization and institutionalization of democracy in Nepal.
The other issue is the definition of democracy. The western countries often tend to have the authority to certify whether or not a particular political system is democracy. The western capitalist countries recognize only the political system and regimes that follow the capitalist model of liberal democracy. Any other political model that does not reconcile with the values and principles of western capitalist system is condemned as authoritarian and undemocratic system. So this ideological divide has also cost heavily on democracy and political systems in the world.
As the world is diverse with different countries having their own unique history, culture, traditions and value systems, they also have different perception on political model and governance. They have their homegrown and time-tested system that is more suitable to their country. In these countries, imposition of alien system and values in the name of democracy has often boomeranged.
In fact democracy is collective self-rule which implies that people oversee their affairs on the basis of collective consent. This is more possible in direct democracy which used to be practiced in ancient Athens. During the early days of democracy, Athenians would gather in the city center where they would collectively take decision on each and every issue of national significance. These decisions used to be binding for authorities and they had to implement without any question. In this self-functioning type of system or democracy, each electorate directly participated in the decision-making process and governance. This was called a direct democracy, which is the mother of democracy in the world.
With the march of time, the social fabric, demographic pattern and society itself underwent phenomenal change and transformation. With the demographic pressure, social structure and relations got complicated. The old systems that had been in practice for years, decades and centuries were replaced by the new and improvised ones to cope with the new changes in the social, political and cultural spheres and challenges as direct democracy is not possible in the present complicated world. This was later replaced by representative democracy in which people would choose their representatives through periodic election and the elected representatives would rule and decide on behalf of the people. This is the democracy we are practicing in the world at present.
The liberal democracy is being portrayed as the only legitimate political system of the people. The system of governance or liberal democracy was born and nurtured in the Western capitalist countries and was later put in test in other countries of the world, as well. Since it is their brain child, the Western countries champion, advocate and defend liberal democracy and try to establish and institutionalize it in the world as the best democratic system of governance. To them, any other form of political system challenging liberal democracy is tantamount to authoritarian system devoid of popular legitimacy. However, all other forms of system are not authoritarian and all political system based on Western political values alone may not necessarily signify genuine democracy.
Given the great debate going on in the global level, it seems that the dispute is focused not on the form and fashion of the political system but on values it champions. It is the clash between two value systems— the oriental and western values. In other words, the row is between individualism and collectivism and between the person and the community or society. The countries in the Western World are the advocate of individual rights and they have based quality and class of democracy on the level and extent of individual rights and freedom. However, the oriental countries focus more on community rights and interests than personal pursuit. This is the fundamental difference on the model and definition of democracy in the world.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Country is in the least priority of parties

Yuba Nath Lamsal
Now the election is over that has again produced a hung Constituent Assembly. In the election, the earlier underdogs, the Nepali Congress and the CPN-UML have emerged as the first and the second largest forces while the earlier largest party the UCPN-Maoist has been rendered to the position of the distant third with mere 80 seats in the 601 House. Although many have cast doubt over the fairness and impartiality of the electoral process, political parties that participated in the election have accepted the results with some degree of apprehension. Accordingly, the meeting of the Constituent Assembly has already started and parliamentary session summoned.
With the formation of the new Constituent Assembly, fresh process has started for both constitution writing process as well as the formation of a new government. The Constituent Assembly has twin functions—writing of the constitution and also carrying out the works of parliament. Thus, both processes are expected to be expedited so that this process would produce a result—positive result. In that sense, the present Constituent Assembly has to learn a lesson from the failure of the first Assembly and give the country a stable and strong government capable enough to handle with more confidence and competence the most prominent and pressing issues of the country. Thus, there is a high expectation of the people from the new Constituent Assembly. This is particularly true because the parties and candidates have promised to give the country a new constitution within a year and also a strong and stable government.
However, given the composition of the new Constituent Assembly that was formed by an election widely criticized as an engineered one, it seems less likely that this national task would be met within the period the parties have promised. This means that the country may not again get a new constitution and much vaunted stability mainly because of the behavior of the leaders of mainly two largest parties.
If we look at the behavior of the political parties and overtures of their leaders, one can reach an easy conclusion that our leaders and parties have not yet come of the age. The political leaders often make immature and sometimes ambiguous statements that provide sufficient ground for the critics to arrive at the conclusion that people who are currently at political helms of affairs in Nepal are just political upstarts but not leaders. It may take years for them to get maturity to become a leader, and, some of them, perhaps, may never attaint that level in their life time. Unless someone attains full maturity, he/she can by no means be called a leader, not to talk of the statesman.
Mature leaders and statesmen have certain vision, ideological clarity and set of goals that are clearly defined. This alone makes one different from the rest of political runners. In the absence of mature leaders and visionary statesmen, country’s politics remain embroiled in confusion, uncertainty and chaos, which is exactly the case of present Nepal. The chaotic atmosphere only provides ground to crooks, scoundrels and criminals to reap benefits. In such a situation, honest and genuine political activists and leaders are often pushed to oblivion and their role is always underestimated and undermined.
Politics is an art of statecraft which should ensure a better governance, better delivery of goods and better law and order through which politicians, leaders and parties prove their competence and win trust of the people. Politics is the engine that pulls the country towards right direction—the direction of peace, stability and prosperity. In the driving seats are always the politicians whose role and responsibility is to take the vehicle of the country to a safe and appropriate direction in which people feel safe, secure and relieved. If those in the driver’s seat are not well trained, well educated, well intentioned and do not have vision and orientation, they often meet with an accident risking the life of the entire fellow passengers on board. The country is also like a vehicle and the people like passengers. The steering of the country is in the hands of leaders. If leaders are badly trained or untrained, the country may crash having disastrous impact on the life of the people.
We have political parties and we call top brass of these parties as our leaders. We have no choice other than trusting them. In a multi-party democracy, political parties are the key players. Although their performance is poor and their capability is below standard, we must trust them because seeking alternative to political parties would be yet another political disaster.
In way, we, too, may be responsible for the kind of leaders we have. ‘As the people are, so are their leaders’ goes the maxim. It is also the failure of people not to keep vigil on leaders and check them from going into wrong direction. Good leadership is all about making life of the people better. But it is exactly the reverse trend in Nepal.
It looks as though the paramount objective of the Nepali leaders is to grab power and retain it as long as possible. They would do everything possible to cling onto power. Once they are in power, they think that they are in power forever. Being in power, their priorities change and immediately forget the people and their base from which they rose to power. While in power, their focus remains to amass wealth through any means—legal or otherwise. As a result, corruption becomes pervasive and good governance and service delivery remains only in rhetoric. The people suffer from bad governance, weak law and order and rampant corruption.
This is exactly the case in the present day Nepal. Corruption is rampant, delivery of service is poor, law and order is weak, inflation sky rocketed and hoarding and artificial scarcity of essential commodities is a daily phenomenon. This is what the people have got from their own government. This is not the case with any particular government but a general phenomenon.
Nepal is currently in political transition. All political transitions in the world are painful, which are often characterized by instability, uncertainty, weak law and order.  Scrupulous people always reap benefit from uncertain state of the country. This is not an isolated case of any particular country but a general trend. All countries in the world that went through political transition had experienced similar situation. Thus, transition needs to be shortened as early as possible. Nepal’s present transition has been unnecessarily long which has cost the country very dearly. This transition should have been over long ago. But transitions still continues and it is not yet certain when this transition would come to an end.
Nepal’s protracted transition, which is attributed to either incompetence of the parties and leaders or their sheer unwillingness to end this ugly transition. Had the political parties and leaders been serious, the transition could have been ended long ago. If parties and leaders were at all serious about the country, the first Constituent Assembly would have delivered the constitution. It seems that parties are deliberately prolonging the transition. The long-drawn-out political transition is, therefore, the making of our political parties because they want to reap benefits from the transitional politics.
With the formation of a new Constituent Assembly, people have expected that the transition would come to an end and the constitution would be delivered within one year. But preliminary indications do not portray better future. Parties have already started bargaining and blackmailing on power-sharing instead of focusing on the main task of constitution-making process. Nepali Congress and the CPN-UML are in the forefront of this ugly battle for power. The competition among the parties is not on issues concerning the constitution-making process, which is the only mandate given by the people, but on issues pertaining to who should get which position and posts. This is illustrative of the lack of seriousness of the leaders about the country and the people.