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Dr. Baburam Bhattarai Stays On-Part XXVII

Issue 39, September 23, 2012

Siddhi B Ranjitkar

Ultimately, the four major power brokers have agreed on going to polls for electing a new CA but it is only a half way to resolving the current political problems, as they have not agreed on a new so-called consensus government. So, the political deadlock might continue for some time until they actually hold elections to a new CA. The opposition coalition of NC and CPN-UML is demanding to form a new government but the ruling coalition is not in a mood to turn over the power to the opposition coalition. Even within the opposition coalition a controversy has been over which party is to lead a new government. And even within the parties competing for forming a new government have difficulty in finding a common candidate for a new prime minister.

Coming out of the meeting of the leaders of UCPN-Maoist, NC, CPN-UML and UDMF held at the Army Integration Special Committee's secretariat at Naya Baneshwor in Kathmandu on September 19, 2012, Chairman of CPN-UML Jhalanath Khanal told the reporters that they had agreed on holding polls for electing a new CA, as it had been impossible to build a consensus on reviving the dissolved CA, however, they needed to form a new consensus government for going to polls. He also said that without forming a new consensus government, elections would not be possible.

Then, coming out of the meeting, General Secretary of NC Krishna Prasad Sitaula told the reporters that the reviving of the dissolved CA had been impossible; so, the only alternative available was to go to polls for electing a new CA; however, they needed to form a new consensus government before holding elections.

Similarly, coming out of the meeting and speaking to the reporters, spokesperson for UCPN-Maoist Agni Sapkota said that reviving the dissolved CA had been impossible; so they agreed on holding elections to a new CA but he did not say a word about a new government.

One thing was clear that the Vaidhya Maoist party was totally ignored by the four major power brokers although Chairman of CPN-Maoist Mohan Vaidhya had claimed that his party was a third force after the ruling coalition and the opposition coalition. Clearly, Mr. Vaidhya could not established as one of the major power brokers and had to accept the status of any other minor political parties. However, how Vaidhya and his colleagues might behave in the future remained to be seen, as they were for a round table talks rather than going to polls or reinstating the dissolved CA. They believed that the only round table talk was constitutional.

On expectation that the four major political parties after agreeing on holding elections to a new CA, also would automatically agree on forming a new consensus government, one of the CPN-UML cadres had already projected KP Oli as the candidate for a next prime minister. Mr. Oli had been a rival to Chairman of CPN-UML Jhalanath Khanal and senior CPN-UML leader Mahdav Nepal. Mr. Oli claimed the office of prime minister stating both of his rivals had been prime minister in the past; so, it was his turn to be the next prime minister.

The NC leaders had the same problem of deciding a candidate for a new prime minister. Under the prevailing political situation, only President of NC Sushil Koirala could be the claimant for the office of prime minister but other two NC leaders such as Sher Bahadur Deuba and Ram Chandra Poudel had been vying for the office of prime minister. In the past, Poudel was definitely a candidate for a new prime minister, as he was the leader of the parliamentary party; following the NC statute, only the parliamentary party leader could take the office of prime minister. However, the political scenario had changed. The CA-cum-parliament gone, Poudel was no more a leader of the NC parliamentary party. So, he could not claim the office of prime minister. In addition, nobody could say that President Koirala was not an elected to the CA-cum-parliament, so, he was not qualified for the office of prime minister, as a new prime minister would be crowned by the leaders of the four major power brokers not the parliament or the CA. In these circumstances, anybody could be a prime minister; s/he needed not to have the people’s mandate for it.

Leaders might claim and counter claim the office of prime minister but the possibility of actually taking it still remote for the partners of the opposition coalition. The ruling coalition partners were not in a mood to turn over the office of prime minister to the opposition partners so easily. They wanted a consensus government, as the opposition partners also wanted but finding a consensus candidate for a new government as elusive as building a consensus on federalism in the past. For example, for the CPN-UML leaders, it might be the KP Olli’s turn to be a next prime minister but he was very far from being a consensus candidate for a new government. The ruling partners would never accept him as a next prime minister. NC leaders were claiming the office of prime minister for themselves. So, Mr. Oli had a least chance of getting endorsed by the NC leaders. NC also needed to find a consensus candidate that would be acceptable to the ruling coalition and the CPN-UML. So, forming a consensus government might be as difficult as building a consensus on federalism.

Then, the ruling partners had already stated that the current government would not quit until a consensus was not built for a new government. A leader acceptable to all four major power brokers had to emerge, yet. Most probably, such a person had not born yet in Nepal. All the leaders had not shown any statesmanship so far. They had been very smart to criticize each other, and to build a small faction of their followers. That was one of the reasons why Nepal had so many political parties. So, the ruling coalition partners would keep the power until the opposition leaders could snatch it.

The only alternative left to the opposition leaders to be in power was to ask the Head of State President Dr. Ram Baron Adam to snatch the power from the ruling coalition and turned it over to the opposition leaders. In fact, the opposition leaders had been shamelessly telling the public what the Head of State had been doing so far not firing the prime minister and turning over the power to the opposition. They also argued that if the political parties could not have a consensus candidate for a prime minister, then the Head of State should turn over the power to the person supported by the majority. However, they did not say majority of whom; they did not have the parliament to have the majority of lawmakers; could they hold together members of the central committees of all major political parties to elect a person for the office of prime minister? So, these guys had been talking not only nonsense but also had been talking about the things that went against the rule of law.

The Head of State President Dr. Ram Baran Yadav had been for following the Interim Constitution of Nepal of 2007, and he was not out of spirits, yet to preserve the rule of law, and institutionalized the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal. If he were to keep his determination to write his name in golden bold letters in the history of Democratic Republic of Nepal, Head of State President Yadav would simply follow the Interim Constitution of Nepal of 2007 and lead all the political parties to polls for electing a new CA that would hopefully complete the crafting of a new constitution.

Ethnic and the Madheshi Nepalis needed to keep watch over what the political leaders and the Head of State were doing. They had already seen that the NC and CPN-UML leaders were not for giving in their central power to the federal provinces on the pretext of opposing to name provinces by a single ethnic name. Ethnic and the Madheshi people could certainly make a difference in the Nepalese politics. Most probably, the NC and CPN-UML leaders had not realized it when they would realize it, it might be too late for them. The NC and CPN-UML leaders could not remain the leaders without the ethnic and Madheshi supporting them. So, the choice was theirs whether they would like to remain as leaders supporting the concerns of the ethnic and Madheshi people or they wanted to disappear from the political scenes forever. However, ethnic and Madheshi people would not step back from their stand on the federal provinces with the power to self-determination. They would keep the Federal Democratic Republican Alliance (FDRA) intact although the opposition did not recognize it. It did not matter, as only the people had rights to recognize it or not, not the so-called leaders.

The Vaidhya Maoists had been totally ignored by the four major power brokers. They did not find it necessary to invite Chairman of CPN-Maoist Mohan Vaidhya to the crucial talks held on September 19, 2012 to decide whether to go to polls or reinstate the dissolved CA. The Vaidhya Maoists had publicly reacted to it that the agreement reached on going polls to elect a new CA was a conspiracy. The CPN-Maoist had submitted the 70-point demand to Prime Minister Dr. Baburam Bhattarai. Former Prime Minster Sher Bahadur Deuba had challenged the prime minister to meet even a single point of the 70-point demand. The 70-point demand submitted to the prime minister might be the show of strength of the Vaidhya Maoists. However, Chairman of CPN-Maoist Vaidhya might need to travel a long way before he could establish a third force among the current power brokers. His venture to steer his new party to the third position in the current political situation had been quixotic in nature.  One easy thing he could easily do was to shut down the regular traffic, and the people’s regular business in protest against anything he could imagine for showing his authority on the streets. The current political situation was the most favorable to anybody for showing strength on the streets even though it was against the rule of law.

Other political parties that had mushroomed might find their natural death, as people had been recognizing only the four major political parties that had agreed on going to polls for electing a new CA. They might find less representation in a new CA if elections were to hold.

In the current circumstances of political confusion, former king Gyanendra Shah had been thinking whether he could cast a net and fish in the murky waters of the current politics. He had been going around on the pretext of visiting religious shrines. He always found some people shouting on his behalf. He might be encouraged by a few people coming out and shouting in his favor but he did not understand the politics as had shown by his previous handing of power he had unscrupulously usurped from the previous elected government. He needed to know that the ethnic people and the Madheshi would never allow him to make a comeback, as the exclusive administration of the Shah dynastic had kept them poor and hungry rule for a two-and-half centuries. So, they would never let him to make a comeback king.

Mr. Gyanendra Shah was going alone around trying to make the people support him for making a comeback. He did not realize the formidable opponent of the four major power brokers such as UCPN-Maoist, NC, CPN-UML and UDMF. Although the NC and CPN-UML had some cadres that supported the dynastic rule, as it suited them and benefited them. The NC and CPN-UML did not even allow the current government to remove the statue of Tribhuvan sitting above the four martyrs at the Shahidgate in Kathmandu. Tribhuvan as the then king signed off the death sentences to the four brave Nepalis that came out against the then autocratic Shah-Rana dynastic rule. The statue of the killer had no rights to sit above the statues of those killed for speaking out for the rights of the people. So, Mr. Shah had some leaders in the NC and CPN-UML supporting his dynasty. Even his blind supporter Mr. Kamal Thapa had been running short of cash to hold rallies and shutdowns in protest against anything one could think off. Mr. Thapa had lost the hope of bringing back the dead monarchy to life, as he did not have much resources left and his master was so stingy he did not receive any resources from him. So, Mr. Shah was going alone hoping some of his blind supporters would make him a comeback king. Mr. Shah would be well off not having such a nice dream and not going around for finding some people shouting in his favor, as it might backfire on him and land him where nobody would able to know.

Mr. Shah might be thinking that he would be able to do what his father Mahendra had done in early 1960s. If it was so then he was on the wrong notion. His father could stage a coup in 1960 because the then NC had lost the power base because of its corrupt and wrong administration, and the few educated people then thought that Mahendra might do better but the Nepalis had seen what the Shahs could do. So, Nepalis would never accept the comeback of the Shah dynastic. Whatever Mr. Gyanendra Shah might be doing in any name might backfire on him and lead him to uncertain destiny.

Holding a press conference at the NC district office in Myagdi on Thursday, September 20, 2012, district committee members of political parties such as UCPN-Maoist, NC, CPN-UML, CPN-Maoist and CPN-United called the Myagdi shutdown in protest against the former king Gyanedra's planned visit to the district, and said that they would interrupt his weeklong trip to the western districts, as he was trying to take the advantage of the current political imbroglio in the country. (Source:

Concerning the protest against the former king’ weeklong visit to the western districts, one of former King Gyanendra Shah’s aides said that Shah was only exercising his individual right to visit places within the country, as local cadres of different political parties staged protests against his visit to the western districts. “This is his personal visit,” Baglung-based journalist Deepak Gautam quoted Shah’s aide Sagar Timilsina as saying, “Everybody has individual freedom. The former king is simply exercising his freedom.” “He is on (a) religious trip. There is nothing the political parties should be opposed to,” he further said, soon after the former King embarked on a weeklong tour to Kaski, Baglung, Parbat and Myagdi districts. (Source:

Reacting to the decision of four major political parties on going to polls for elections to a new CA, the CPN-Maoist in a press release on Thursday, September 21, 2012 said that the decision of the major four political forces on going to fresh elections to a new CA was the conspiracy to fool people. "It’s another deception to talk about election without making clear the confusions on various aspects of the election," the press release said. The party also urged the people to be aware of the illusion spread by three major political parties and the Madhesi Front. (Source:

Talking to the reporter of on Thursday, September 20, 2012, Former Speaker Subash Nemwang said that fresh polls were not possible without reinstating the CA, as the agreement among the four major political forces on going to fresh elections was not enough, the Interim Constitution of Nepal of 2007 needed to amend; so, there was no alternative to reinstate the CA to pave the way for fresh election; the political parties needed to follow the proper ways to amend the constitution if they were to end the current political crisis prevailing in the nation. (Source:

Talking to reporters at the Janakpur Airport on Thursday, September 20, 2012, Finance Minister and UCPN-Maoist leader Barshaman Pun said that the current Baburam Bhattarai-led government would hold fresh elections to a new CA; and preparations were afoot to declare elections to be held in May or June 2013 after building a consensus among the political parties. (Source:

At the meeting of members of the Federal Democratic Republican Alliance (FDRA), held at New Baneshwar on Saturday, September 22, 2012, they concluded that political parties needed to build a consensus on all issues in a package before a national consensus government was formed. FDRA is the alliance of 21 political parties including the ruling coalition of UCPN-Maoist and UDMF. Chairman of UCPN-Maoist Prachanda is the coordinator of the FDRA. Spokesman for FDRA Prem Bahadur Singh said that it did not make sense to form a new government without building a consensus on all issues in a package; the FDRA had kept its door open to all options including the revival of the dissolved CA for ending the current constitutional impasse. "Issues such as delineation of the number of electoral constituencies on the basis of the recent census, number of CA members and election date should be finalized," the spokesman said, adding, "Parties should also forge consensus on how to remove constitutional difficulties in the absence of parliament." (Source:

On Friday, September 21, 2012, the meeting of NC leaders held at the residence of President of NC Sushil Koirala in Maharajgunj came to the conclusion that it was not possible to hold fresh elections under the current government; so they stressed the need for forming a unity government under the leadership of NC before going to the polls for electing a new CA. Coming out of the meeting, senior leader Sher Bahadur Deuba said that Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai should step down to pave the way for a consensus government under the NC's leadership, and his party was negotiating with other political parties to this end. (Source: and RSS/

Nine small political parties including Madhesi Janadhikar Forum-Nepal, Rastriya Prajatantra Party (RPP), RPP-Nepal, Rastriya Janashakti Party and Sanghiya Loktantrik Rastriya Manch joined up with the Vaidhya-led CPN-Maoist to oppose the decision of four major political forces on going to fresh polls for electing a CA. At the meeting of the ten parties held at the Buddhanagar central office of CPN-Maoist on Friday, September 21, 2012 concluded that the decision made by the meeting of UCPN-Maoist, NC, CPN-UML and UDMF was not acceptable to them, and that the decision of four parties could not be binding to them. (Source:

On Friday, September 21, 2012, speaking at an interaction held by the Rupandehi chapter of Reporters’ Club in Butwal, Minister for Physical Planning and Works and senior leader of Terai Madhesh Loktantrik Party Hridayesh Tripathi said that even after the decision of the four major political forces on going to polls, a possibility was still there to reach an agreement among the parties on reinstatement of the dissolved CA; so, the parties might ultimately reach an understanding for reinstating the dissolve CA; some leaders preferred to reinstate the CA, as they were afraid of going to polls in the current situation. (Source:

Laying the foundation stone of the Dolakha District Attorney Office on Friday, September 21, 2012, Attorney General Mukti Pradhan said that the president could not take any step despite his willing to do so; any step taken by the president would be unconstitutional and such a step was totally unlikely; the constitutional president did not have executive powers and the president was obliged to take any move in accordance with the government's recommendation; the current government would hold the new elections to a new CA and ruled out any alternative to this government; the president could call the political parties for a consensus government only if the parties were ready for it otherwise the Bhattarai-led government would get continuity. (Source:

Speaking at an interaction in Kathmandu on September 20, 2012, Spokesperson for UCPN-Maoist Agni Prasad Sapkota said the government under the leadership of his party had all the reasons for holding the elections to a next CA, as the incumbent government had achieved major success in the peace process and some other aspects of governance; the NC had lost its claim to form a new government because it did not ensure delivery of a new constitution as per the spirit of the five-point deal. “If others do not accept our leadership, why should we accept others’ leadership?” Spokesperson Sapkota said. (Source:

Speaking at the same interaction in Kathmandu on September 20, 2012, Chairman of Nepal Sadbhavana Party Rajendra Mahato said the UDMF would not accept NC leadership in an election government because the grand old party did not ensure delivery of a federal constitution. “There will be a neutral government if parties fail to name a new prime minister,” he added. Mahato said NC’s 11-pradesh model was a deviation from genuine federalism. (Source:

A meeting of the UCPN-Maoist, NC, CPN-UML and UDMF held at the secretariat of the Army Integration Special Committee, Naya Baneshwor in Kathmandu on September 19, 2012 agreed to hold fresh elections to a new CA, putting an end to the debate on the reinstatement of the dissolved CA. Though ruling partners: UCPN-Maoist and UDMF in the coalition government had proposed to settle the disputed issues and revive the CA for a short period to promulgate a new constitution, they could not build a consensus on the reinstatement as no parties showed flexibility on their stand mainly on the restructuring of the state.  (Source:

Talking to reporters at the Bharatpur Airport in Chitwan on Wednesday, September 19, 2012, Central member of NC Arjun Narsingh KC claimed that the NC had no difficulty to pick up a prime ministerial candidate from the party; the NC would select an alternative candidate if a consensus were not built between Ram Chandra Poudel and Sher Bahadur Deuba; the NC had not only three leaders to lead the country but also the party would select a next candidate if top three leaders were to fail in building a consensus on a prime ministerial candidate. Denying the allegation of the current deadlock was due to the NC's failure to pick up a prime ministerial candidate, KC said that there was no option but to go for fresh elections to end the current political impasse. (Source: RSS/

“As my initiative, I have urged the leaders of various parties to form an all party government, but they are not heeding my request,” Surya Dhungel: legal adviser to the president told The Himalayan Times, quoting the Head of State as saying. Former Chief justices such as Min Bahadur Rayamajhi, Anup Raj Sharma and Ram Prasad Shrestha met with the president and praised his initiative to end the current political deadlock. This was the first time the president invited former CJs to the presidential office for consultation on political and constitutional matters. The former CJs advised the president to what needed to be done to end the current deadlock. The former CJs suggested that elections were the best way to resolve the impasse because the apex court had directed the government and parliament to either go for elections or referendum in the verdict it had given on November 25, 2011. Former CJs Rayamajhi and Shrestha ruled out the revival of the CA because it was dissolved after failing to deliver a constitution in its four-year tenure and the parties had failed to reach a consensus even after the dissolution of the CA. Sharma however, did not rule out the revival of the CA for a short period but stressed that it should be done only to prepare for elections. The former CJs said invoking the Article 158 of the Interim Constitution does not mean amending the Interim Constitution. “As the article does not give power to the president to amend the constitution, he cannot exercise such an authority to amend the composition of the constitutional council, which appoints chiefs and commissioners of constitutional bodies,” one of the former CJs said. (Source:

At the press conference held by the Jhapa Chapter of Nepal Press Union at Birtamod, Jhapa on Tuesday, September 18, 2012, central committee member of NC Sujata Koirala said that the president should end the current crisis by choosing a prime minister if political parties failed to find out a meeting point to end the current deadlock; the president should bail the country out of the current crisis even by taking a leap ahead, as the nation should not be held hostage for long. Former Deputy Prime Minister Koirala said that the country should not have more than six provincial states while restructuring the state. She also blamed her own party for floating the impractical idea of federating the country into 11 states and warned that she would launch an agitation if more than six provinces were formed. (Source:

Prime Minister Dr. Baburam Bhattarai has argued that the president cannot take any move beyond what constitution has permitted him to do. "President is supposed to exercise his constitutional rights. He cannot exercise powers more than what has been permitted by the constitution" and also ruled out the possibility of ´coup´ as reported in some media. "No one can enforce coup [in Nepal]. No one can subvert democracy," Bhattarai told media persons at Pokhara Airport on Monday, September 17, 2012.  Prime Minister Dr. Bhattarai arrived in Pokhara to attend the 13th general convention of the Pokhara University. (Source: he further argued.

On Saturday, September 15, 2012, addressing a closed-door meeting of the media persons close to his party at the Parisdanda headquarters, Chairman of UCPN-Maoist Prachanda has said that a consensus has so far eluded them, as NC and CPN-UML have been making unnecessary demands asking the current Maoist-led government to step down. "But the Nepali Congress and the CPN-UML have refused to discuss the contentious issues of constitution writing demanding that they be allowed to lead the government first,” a participant quoted Chairman Prachanda as saying at the meeting. Chairman Prachanda also accused the opposition parties of exerting pressure on the president to dismiss the Maoist-led government. "The Nepali Congress and CPN-UML only want power, we will not quit the government without forging a consensus on contentious issues of constitution writing, another participant quoted Chairman Prachanda as saying. (Source:

September 23, 2012

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