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Government in Nepal: Consensual Vs Majority Party?

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The Nepal peace process is in Limbo. On the one hand the resignation of Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal has been accepted by President Ram Baran Yadav on Wednesday 30 June.

I am not sure if it is just a part of the agreement dated May 28 where Nepal's major three parties had arrived at a Three Point Agreement: (1) To bring a logical end to the peace process and accomplish the historical goal of drafting the New Constitution, we hereby commit ourselves to accomplish our duties in consensus and unity. (2) We agree to extend the tenure of the current Constituent Assembly by a one year period to accomplish the remaining tasks of drafting the constitution. (3) To accomplish the above-mentioned jobs and responsibilities we agree to form a National Unity government in consensus and assure that the prime minister of the current coalition government is ready to tender his resignation prior to extending the Constituent Assembly tenure by 12 more months.

Most of the nonpoliticians are agreed that the resignation was a necessary part of the internal pressures where the CPM - UML party and its leaders had put huge pressures on primeminister Mr. Nepal to resign immediately--he was also facing open humiliation from his own political kith and kin. Of course, there were huge pressures from the Maoist Party too but it was not as effective since he did not even resign while the Maoists called general strikes and with many other stronger democratic and non democratic pressures (including the halt of the protest in the parliament, etc). It is very sad to illustrate that the Mr. Nepal-led coalition government was under trouble all the time due to the opposition of the Maoists, so the Government was unable to perform their routine duties and responsibilities properly. Besides there have been little but productive achievements in the ongoing peace process of Nepal in work related to DDR.

The constitution building process could have been completed in due time but it did not happen due to the noncooperation of the Maoist's and their continuous massive opposition and protests.

Honestly, the Maoists party did not even recognize the Mr. Nepal-led government, so they did not want to be cooperative in any level or with anything having to do with the Government (besides the frequent asking of the quick resignation of Mr. Nepal). The most important issue was that the Mr. Nepal-led government was constituted in support of 24 parties of Nepal, and apx 22 were supported until last. The PM suntil has tge majority in the parliament but he had to resign anyway. This may be considered one of the most destructive demerits of the transitional democratic practices.

Indeed, the letter and spirit of the Interim Constitution of Nepal and the Comprehensive Peace Accord of Nepal encourages the multi-party consensual government.

The Interim Constitution and the Comprehensive Peace Accord of Nepal stress that the national consensual government is a precondition to bring about the ongoing peace process to a logical end and to complete the constitution building process in due time. However, very few of the political parties are actually serious about either of these issues.

They have started to practice an approach which has become deeply unfortunate for Nepal. Now there is a race between the parties who all want to lead the work under their own primeministership (which is not feasible at any cost because the country has only a one prime minister constitutional system). In order for the work to be don, Nepal would need at least 24 prime ministers--otherwise they will not be able to come to a consensus!

Because of the forced resignation of the Mr. Nepal-led multiparty government, there is now chaos and several disturbing confrontations to decide who will be the next prime minister of Nepal.

There are three major parties that will most likely play a crucial role to decide upon the upcoming government. The biggest one is the Maoist party; they have two candidates for Prime Minister (Mr. Pusp Kamal Dahal and Dr. Baburam Bhattrai), however there seems to be no common consensus or actual support of these particular candidates.

Similarly, the Nepalese Congressional parties have two major candidates (Mr. Sher Bahadur Deuwa and Ram Chandra Poudel) but they also have a similar situation to the Maoist candidates.

The next candidate in line is CPN-UML, whose Prime Minister Mr. Nepal was just forced to resign, and now the president Mr. Jhalnath Khanal wants to claim this primeministership--but his candidacy is not accepted by either internal and external powers.

Also, a small party Madhesi Janadhikar Forum Loktantrik, whose president Mr. Gachhedar, is also raising strong voices for his candidacy in primeministership.

India, China, and America have an especially strong influence and strategic power in terms of constituting this new government, so it won't enough to get just domestic support, but particular parties and candidates will also seek strong support from the above-mentioned international community.

In preliminary observation, there is a little hope for the Maoist leader Dr. Baburam Bhattrai, because in order to win, he must gain anonymous support from its party, which is not an easy job because his party's president Mr. Prachand has a strong grip in his party's central to local command. On the other hand his party president has already announced his own official candidacy for primeministership.

According to the media reports and informal sources both Mr. Bhattrai and Mr. Prachanda do not have a harmonious relationship with each other and also have been found to differ in working and understanding the policies of Maoism. There is a serious rivalry that has existed for a long time between both candidates. Secondly, other parties won't support any Maoist leader for primeministership until they complete their previous commitments and agreements regarding reintegration of ex Maoist combatants, dissolution of the Young Communist League, free and fair return of seized and captured public and private properties to their original owners, honest and unconditionally obeying the comprehensive peace agreements and its related policies and practices. These have emerged as the biggest challenges facing the Maoist leader.

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Mr. Pushkar was a DAAD fellow and studied research master in peace and conflict studies in Germany. Also, he holds an internationally honored first class master degree in public administration. He has participated in dozens of national and (more...)
 
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