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Failure Of NC Leadership

Issue December 2017

Failure Of NC Leadership

Siddhi B Ranjitkar


The ethics of the NC leadership has hit the rock bottom not paving the way for the smooth transfer of power even after the clear majority the Left Alliance has won in the provincial and federal elections. The Election Commission needs to submit the election results immediately to the president. Failure of the NC leadership has been clearer than before. Nothing could have been worst than the candidates of the coalition partners in the government fighting against each other in the elections to the House of Representatives. To keep the so many Maoists ministers without jobs has been nothing but shame on the prime minister.


Shame on the prime minister that has been staying on in power even after his party has so disastrously lost the provincial and federal elections. He has openly said that he would continue his office until the president put her assent on the National Assembly Ordinance his cabinet has passed and submitted it to the president for assent but the president has put it on hold because the major political parities such as CPN-UML and CPN-Maoist-Center have not accepted it.


The main problem has been Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba wants the election to the National Assembly in the format of a Single Transferable Voting (STV) system that will make his party win a few seats in the National Assembly whereas the CPN-UML and CPN-Maoist-Center want the direct election that will surely kill the chance of NC winning any seats in the National Assembly.


The constitution has clearly stated that any newly elected member of the House of Representatives commanding the majority of one or more political parties could submit her/his claim for the office of prime minister to the president and the president will appoint the person to the prime minister and form a new government but the prime minister has to have the vote of confidence from the parliament means both House of Representatives and National Assembly within 30 days.


Without the president signing off the National Assembly Ordinance, an election to the National Assembly could not be held, and without a National Assembly, no parliament. So even if the president appoints somebody to a prime minister s/he would not be able to have the vote of confidence within 30 days as prescribed by the constitution. This is the argument of the NC constitutional and legal experts.


Legal and constitutional experts sitting on other side of fence say that no problem of the president not putting the assent on the National Assembly Ordinance, once the Election Commission submits the results of the provincial and federal elections, the majority leader in the House of Representatives could form a government and withdraw the ordinance Deuba has submitted to the president and amend it and then resubmit it to the president for the approval then hold the election to the National Assembly.


Now, the ball is in the court of the Election Commission that has to officially submit the election results to the president and then formalized the results publishing them in the State Gazette. Obviously and constitutionally, the Election Commission has no problem of submitting the results to the president. However, at the meeting with Chairman of CPN-Maoist-Center Prachanda held a few days ago, Chief Election Commissioner Ayodhi Prasad Yadav told Prachanda that the final results of House of Representatives could not be formally announced before holding the election to the National Assembly following the constitutional provision that required one-third of female representation of each party in the federal parliament, according to the news posted on on December 22, 2017.


Speaking to the anchor of the Radio Nepal morning program called “antar-sambad” on December 24, 2017, former Chief Election Commissioner also currently the head of NGO for watching the provincial and federal elections: Surya Prasad Shrestha said that none could put on hold the election results that had been done with so much of expenses; so the Election Commission needs to submit the election results to the president and formalized them immediately.


If former Chief Election Commissioner Shrestha were to be true then current Chief Election Commissioner Yadav could not escape from the accountability of not submitting the election results to the president, and he might need to face the future parliament. In other words Chief Election Commissioner Yadav might not walk away with impunity for not publishing the election results, and putting on hold the formation of a new majority government following the people’s mandate.


Some constitutional experts say that Chief Election Commissioner Yadav’s job is mainly to hold elections correctly which he did perfectly and now he needs to submit the results to the president without delay. His job is not to make sure the political parties follow the constitution. That job is of the president that has taken the oath of protecting the constitution, and the Supreme Court is to interpret the constitution.


Some thinking political analysts say that NC leadership is trying to invalidate the provincial and federal elections not allowing the election results formalized. It is however, the extreme thinking that is unlikely to happen but the Maoist ministers have not quit the cabinet of Prime Minister Deuba even after the elections because they have the information on Deuba has been thinking to suspend the elections. Chairman of CPN-Maoist-Center once had said that he had the information on Deuba asking the split-away Maoist Biplav to declare the people’s war so that Deuba could postpone the elections obviously declaring a state of emergency.


On the Thursday evening, December 21, 2017, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi made telephone calls to Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba, Chairman of CPN-UML KP Oli, and Chairman of CPN-Maoist-Center Prachanda and congratulated them, Deuba for successfully holding the elections, Oli and Prachanda for winning the elections, and Modi invited KP Oli to India, as Modi is eagerly waiting for Oli to visit India as a prime minister, according to the news on “gorkhapatra” published on December 22, 2017. The international election observers also have stated that the elections have been held impartially and successfully.


No matter what the political experts think about the prime minister trying to invalidate the elections but it is of a remote chance. So, Deuba simply hanging on in office without the people’s mandate means he surely demonstrates how incompetent he has been in the politics not only once but several times.


Prime Minister Deuba did not show up at the 94th birth anniversary of Krishna Prasad Bhattarai: one of the founding fathers of the NC, of which Deuba currently is the president. Chairman of the Krishna Prasad Bhattarai Memorial Foundation PL Singh regretted that President of NC Sher Bahadur Deuba did not attend the ceremony despite the invitation, according to the news on “gorkhapatra” published on December 24, 2017. KP Oli was there to make a sarcastic speech on the occasion. Why Deuba did not attend the marking of the anniversary of the saint politician is anybody’s guess.


Certainly, Prime Minister Deuba could not manage the Democratic Alliance with all the so-called democratic political parties he claimed he has set up for winning the provincial and federal elections but leading to the catastrophic defeat of the NC, as candidates of the coalition partners fought against each other in the elections.


Deuba could not manage both former general secretary of NC Krishna Prasad Sitaula and one of the leaders of Rastriya Prajatantra Party Rajendra Prasad Lingden running for the House of Representative at the same Jhapa constituency. Lingden sought the support of CPN-UML for his candidacy leaving behind the values and norms of his party, and he got elected causing shameful defeat to Sitaula. Chairman of CPN-UML KP Oli went to Jhapa to campaign for Lingden. However, Lingden had an emotional meeting with his party boss Kamal Thapa and shed some tears at the meeting to douse the emotion.


The irony is that when Sitaula and Lingden are head-on collision with each other in Jhapa, their party leaders Sher Bahadur Deuba and Kamal Thapa are prime minister and deputy prime minister respectively at the center. Thapa loves power so much he does not mind how his colleagues are fighting against one of the stalwarts of NC Krishna Prasad Sitaula. Deuba must have the same mind, too. In this case both Deuba and Thapa have been failure in managing their party colleagues. They let both Sitaula and Lingden run for the same office knowing one of them will be defeated while Deuba and Thapa are in partners in the coalition government. Probably, Deuba wants Sitaula also a one-time rival for the same party position currently Deuba is holding to be defeated.


Defeat of Sitaula is not a single case but Bimlendra Nidhi and even Ram Chandra Poudel have the same story. NC leader Bimlendra Nidhi and leader of Rastriya Janata Party-Nepal Rajendra Mahato fought for the same seat in the House of Representatives. Again Nidhi got defeated unfortunately. Prime Minister Deuba is supposed to lead the Democratic Alliance, of which Rastriya Janata Party-Nepal is supposed to be the one of the members. Alliance members are not to run for the same office in the elections but to cooperate each other on winning the election but ironically Deuba could not achieve it and made his party and colleagues fail in the elections.


Now, Ram Chandra Poudel once a rival for the same party job currently Deuba is holding has lost the election in Tanhu thanks to his colleague Govinda Raj Joshi, according to the NC party version of the defeat of Poudel in the election. As Joshi did not receive the party ticket for running for the House of Representatives at the Tanhu constituency, Joshi went to file his candidacy as an independent candidate.


Taking the pending corruption case Joshi has filed at the Supreme Court for rescinding the ruling of the Special Court indicting Joshi for corruption, Poudel asked the Election Commission to revoked the candidacy of Joshi as he was indicted by the Special Court for corruption. The Election Commission annulled the candidacy. So, Joshi took a chance to make Poudel to lose the election. That is the story of the NC.


Deuba either wanted these guys to lose the election or terribly failed in managing the party folks for the elections, but Deuba must have opted for the defeat of these guys, as Deuba probably wins from the defeat of Poudel, Sitaula, and even Nidhi.  In both cases, Deuba is labeled as a failure. Party President Deuba needs to lead most of the NC candidates if not all to win the elections but he simply let lose most of them except for himself.


Not surprisingly, Deuba failed in getting even his spouse Dr Arju Rana Deuba get elected to the House of Representatives. Probably, some of the members of his party must have engaged in defeating his spouse, as they must have been annoyed not having one of their most deserving colleagues the party ticket after Deuba awarded it to his spouse.


However, Deuba did a great favor to Dr Baburam Bhattarai: currently coordinator of Naya Shakti Party but one time prime minister also a Maoist leader, assisting him in winning the election at the Gorkha constituency. Dr Bhattarai had been bouncing from one party to another and finally hit the NC of Deuba to get the ticket to run for the House of Representatives at the Gorkha constituency. Dr Bhattarai obviously with the support of Deuba managed to defeat his rival: another Maoist-Center leader Narayan Kaji Shrestha. Probably, Deuba wanted to defeat at least one Maoist-Center candidate.


Bijaya Kumar Gacchedar won the election with a great difficulty but his three candidates lost thanks to Deuba. Gacchedar merged his Madhesh-based party to NC of Deuba. In fact, Gacchedar had been the member of NC until the formation of Madheshi Janaadikar Forum, which disintegrated into a number of parties with the similar names. One of them was the party of Gacchedar. Correctly thinking that his party would lose its existence after the elections, Gacchedar merged his party with NC, and his party received four tickets from Deuba. Three of them lost, and only Gacchedar won with a small margin.


Deuba did not take any responsibility for failing in even Shekhar Koirala: one of the central working committee members of NC getting elected in the federal election. CPN-UML candidate Lalbabu Pandit defeated Koirala badly. Shekher Koirala is one of the sons of BP Koirala: one of the founding fathers of NC party, and the first elected prime minister the then king Mahendra fired on December 15, 1960.


At a press conference held at Koirala Niwas in Biratnagar on December 22, 2017, Dr Shekhar Koirala demanded calling a central committee meeting at the earliest, and he made it clear that the meeting is inevitable to have comprehensive discussion on the party's loss in the elections and call for a meeting of the Mahasamiti; he also said that he lost the parliamentary election due to non-cooperation of the party members on the election; when asked about his possibility to run for the party president in the upcoming general convention, he said, "It was obvious thing for a political person aspires for leadership," according to the news posted on on December 22, 2017. Obviously, Koirala wants to displace Deuba from the party presidency.


Deuba has been successful to place his NC party in the third position among the directly elected members of the House of Representatives fielding most of the corruption-tainted candidates, and getting them lose the election. NC has the reputation of winning historical records of two-thirds majority and more than 50% in the past. None of the political parties has managed to break this record but Deuba has put such party in the devastating position after the provincial and federal elections held this year.


Mahats (Ram Sharan and Prakash Sharan) and KCs (Arjun Narsingh and Govinda Narsingh) lost the election. One of the dashing ministers: Nabindra Raj Joshi in the cabinet of Prachanda that led the coalition government of NC and CPN-Maoist-Center with understanding to turn over the baton to Deuba after nine months which Prachanda did sincerely breaking the record of politicians always not keeping their understanding even agreements, lost the election at Kathmandu-8 constituency. Prakash Man Singh: son of the legendary leader Ganesh Man Singh won the election with a very small margin indicating the dwindling of his reputation conjoined with Deuba. Only Gagan Thapa won the election comfortably because he had done a remarkable job in assisting the quake victims in settling humanly.


Currently, thanks to Prime Minister Deuba, Nepal has hit again the political deadlock. How many days Deuba would be able to hang on power remains to be seen. He is a lame-duck prime minister. Obviously, he would not be able to do much. He could have imposed a state of emergency if the president were in his favor but the president is not. So, Deuba is sinking everyday not turning over the power to the winning political parties.


December 25, 2017

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