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People’s Movement: Only Alternative

Issue 21, May 23, 2010

Siddhi B. Ranjitkar

Political analysts say that the UCPN-Maoist, NC and CPN-UML together having two-third majority in the Constituent assembly cum legislature need to agree on the package of 1) a consensus national government, 2) integration of two armies into a single army, and 3) writing of a new constitution. Separating anyone of these three things from a package would not break the current political deadlock.

Some legal experts among them the so-called constitutional experts have been saying that the government and the Constituent writing process are two different things and you should not link the current majority government with the constitution writing. It looks quite logical and perfect. Yes, the government has nothing to do with the writing of a new constitution. The reality is that only a consensus government could help write a new constitution, as the decision on various subject matters required two-third majority means all those three major political parties need to agree on.

The current Madhav government is not a consensus government rather a majority government. So, it is not in a position to bring all the three major parties together and then agree on various subject matters of the package including the peace process. Therefore, Prime Minster Madhav Nepal has failed in building consensus among the political leaders for integration of two armies in other words completing the peace process, and for writing a new constitution. In addition, Madhav Nepal has failed to work in good faith for building consensus among the political leaders, and has stayed on in power holding together most of the unethical legislators for a majority.

Since Madhav Nepal became the Prime Minister following the majority vote, the UCPN-Maoist leaders have been saying that a consensus government led by their party is a must if you want to complete the peace process and the writing of a new constitution. However, the NC and CPN-UML leaders except for a few of them have been saying that the Madhav government is a legitimate government and the UCPN-Maoist legislators need to join this government to make a national government; they say that if the UCPN-Maoist leaders want to lead a new government they need to secure majority votes in the legislature but the UCPN-Maoist leaders have been saying that they are not for playing a dirty political game of numbers at the legislature; they want a consensus government.

As the Madhav government is not a consensus government, Madhav Nepal has not been able to work in good faith. Consequently, his government has been the most incompetent, and has been engaged in reaping benefits for the ministers and for their relatives, friends and cadres. Madhav Nepal and his ministers have been only for making foreign trips at any cost. His government has been provoking the UCPN-Maoist to launch a movement and pushing them away from reconciliation and consensus politics.

Madhav Nepal has been not following the rule of law in running the state administration. His government has promoted Toran Jung Bahadur Singh indicted for disappearing 49 people in 2003 and 2004, even disregarding the UN report on the disappearance and the international community asking him not to promote such a tainted person to the second-in-command of the Nepal Army. Disregarding the repeated advice of the legislative Public Account Committee for following the public Procurement Act for printing the machine-readable passports (MRPs) and not canceling the international bid for printing MRPs, the Madhav government has awarded the contract for printing MRPs to India at several times higher price than the lowest price of the international bidder. His government has restored the subsidy on fertilizers once the international community has forced the government to abandon, as the subsidy has been for the ministers and concerned state officials making money rather than for the benefits of farmers.

Concerning the integration of the two armies into a single army, Madhav Nepal has not worked in good faith for integrating the armies. He did not take up this issue for a number of months but when he did take up he came up with his own terms to integrate the armies disregarding the Comprehensive Peace Agreement the Government of Nepal has reached with the UCPN-Maoist. He has been bullying other members of the Army Integration Special Committee (AISC) concerning the army integration stating that Prachanda and late Girija Prasad Koirala have agreed on integrating 3,000 PLA members into the Nepal Army; the UCPN-Maoist leaders need to agree on this number. The NC leaders have said that they are for integrating the two armies before writing a new constitution. Some of them including late Girija Prasad Koirala have been not for integrating the PLA members into the Nepal Army.

Chairman of UCPN-Maoist has once said that after noting the conspiracy hatched by the Madhav government and the NC leaders, the UCPN-Maoist leaders have decided to integrate the two armies into a single army only after the promulgation of a new constitution, as the NC and CPN-UML leaders might not cooperate on writing a new constitution at all and the writing of a new constitution would be foiled by the conspirators.

Leaders of the ruling political parties have been distancing from the opposition party putting one condition after another for forming a consensus government and for integrating the armies. Political analysts believe that this is a clear dirty game the NC and CPN-UML leaders have been playing. Most of them have lost the elections for the Constituent Assembly seats; so they need to hold on to the positions they have grabbed cashing on the mistakes of the UCPN-Maoist leaders.

Some other political analysts say that the NC has no leaders that could deal with the current political situation. So, they have been supporting the current incompetent Madhav government not by a design but by the compulsion otherwise they would have led a new government after the fall of the Prachanda government in May 2009. All the three so-called leaders such as Acting President Sushil Koirala, Senior leader Sher Bahadur Deuba and Parliamentary party leader Ram Chandra Poudel of NC have been checkmating each other. None of them wants another to be the Prime Minister.

Sushil is the looser in the election for the Constituent Assembly. He had resigned from the Acting President of NC immediately after the election perhaps in good faith but his senior Girija Prasad Koirala did not accept his resignation and let him continue as the Acting President of NC. Sushil Koirala has difficulties even speaking in Nepali clearly. If one of the prerequisites for being a leader is speaking clearly then Sushil Koirala will be out immediately.

Sher Bahadur Deuba has a problem of clearly speaking, too but he has been the Prime Minister thrice: twice elected and once by the favor of the then despotic ruler. He used to be furious with anybody at talking about corruption. So, ministers had had a climate conducive to making money in his previous governments. He had lost the election for the parliamentary leader to Ram Chandra Poudel.

Ram Chandra Poudel was a thin man when he came to Kathmandu as the elected member of the parliament in 1990. At that time, several people had judged him from looking at his body and face that Mr. Poudel had eaten only one meal a day. He made up his body to a full-fledged regular person after he became the Minister for Agriculture, and has amassed some wealth, too.

Certainly, the trio of so-called leaders such as Sushil Koirala, Sher Bahadur Deuba and Ram Chandra Poudel of NC are not competent to break the current political deadlock. So, they have been supporting the current incompetent government, as they have no choice. Some political analysts have said that these three guys have been intriguing to foil the achievement of the people for republic, federalism and secularism.

Similarly, the CPN-UML has also the lack of leaders that could lead the party and the government and able to break the current political deadlock. Nobody knows who is running the CPN-UML. Chairman of CPN-UML Jhalanath Khanal had given the way to the man defeated in two constituents to be the Prime Minister. Mr. Khanal had led the party of the leaders of the eighteen political parties to the president and urged him to abuse the Interim Constitution of Nepal of 2007 anticipating to be the Prime Minster. However, he got the slap rather than the position of Prime Minster. His rival KP Oli is always looking for a chance to push him out of the position and take up the position of the chairman of CPN-UML.

Nepalis have seen the performances of KP Oli and Madhav Nepal: both of them are losers of the lections for the Constituent Assembly. They have been the most irrational persons in the CPN-UML party.

Again, the trio of so-called leaders such as Jhalanath Khanal, KP Oli and Madhav Nepal are not capable of breaking the current political deadlock but they have proved that they are capable of doing anything in the politics not following the rule of law. If you go to the past records of KP Oli you would find that he was one of the parliamentarians that broke the chairs at the parliament protesting against the then NC government headed by late Girija Prasad Koirala in 1990s.

Now, taking the stock of the UCPN-Maoist leaders you will find that Chairman Prachanda has been the master mistake maker. He has been surviving in the politics only because he is very smart and quick to realize mistakes and apologize to anybody for anything he has done wrongly. He has been very quick to change his tactics to remain at the helm of his party’s leadership. His repeated mistakes have contributed to the current political deadlock. Most of other UCPN-Maoist leaders are simply parroting the party line or the Prachanda line.

Therefore, the strength and weakness of the political leaders of these three major parties have brought the current political deadlock. Their strength has been the squabbling for power not for working on the consensus politics.

On May 13, 2010, speaking at the press conference held to inform the public about the decision of the Federation of Nepal Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI), President Kush Kumar Joshi has said that FNCCI has decided to give an ultimatum to the three major political parties such as UCPN-Maoist, NC and CPN-UML to sort out their differences and work on the consensus politics within two days means by Saturday, May 15, 2010 otherwise the business and industrial community would not give any donations to any political parties and would not even pay taxes if a need for such an action arises; in addition, FNCCI would hold peace rallies in 75 districts across the country for putting pressure on the political parties to work on consensus.

The three political parties: practically two parties such as UCPN-Maoist on one side and NC and CPN-UML on the other side have hardly come closer to work on the consensus politics, as both the parties have been firmly standing on their respective position. The UCPN-Maoist leaders have continued to stick to their stand on forming a new consensus national government, and integrating the two armies into a single army after promulgating a new constitution whereas NC and CPN-UML leaders have the demand for the UCPN-Maoist leaders returning the seized property, and dismantling the semi-military structure of the YCL (Young Communist League) before forming a national government.

The UCPN-Maoist leaders cannot return the land to the respective owners: most of them are the leaders of the NC and CPN-UML, as the farmers grabbing the land are the grassroots level supporters of the UCPN-Maoist, similarly, the UCPN-Maoist cannot dissolve the semi-military structure of the YCL, as they have been standing on their shoulders.

The victim of the incompetence of the leaders of these three major political parties and of their selfish interest has been the writing of a new constitution and promulgation of it on May 28, 2010. Political leaders and their sycophants have almost convinced Nepalis of not being able to complete the writing of a new constitution for promulgating it on May 28, 2010. So, NC and CPN-UML leaders have been in the campaign to extend the term of the Constituent Assembly whereas the UCPN-Maoist leaders are not for extending the term of the Constituent Assembly so far. You never know what they will do next time.

Showing his incompetence in running the Constituent Assembly, Chairman of Constituent Assembly Subash Nemwang has put the Constituent Assembly in recess for an indefinite period, as he could not run sessions for debating the subject matters of a new constitution. Chairman Nemwang needs to quit his job for someone competent to manage it properly for continuing the debate over the matters concerning the new constitution.

Similarly, Chairman of the Constitutional Committee Nilambar Acharya has postponed the meeting of his committee for indefinite period. He has also demonstrated that he is not the proper person for the job of the Chairman of the Constitutional Committee. He also needs to quit the job immediately for paving the way for someone to run the Constitutional Committee.

The CA has members that don’t want the CA writing a new constitution. For example, on Friday, May 21, 2010, talking to Norwegian Minister for Environment and International Development Erik Solheim in Kathmandu, Prime Minister Madhav Nepal has said that he does not believe in the CA writing a new constitution but he has to agree to it just because the Maoists wanted it.

Madhav Nepal is really a fox in a human form. He is at the CA to prevent it from writing a new constitution. So, it is not surprising that he has been doing everything possible to derail the writing of a new constitution. So, all the CA members wishing to write a new constitution need to come forward and fire Madhav Nepal not only from the position of the CA member but also from the position of the Prime Minister he has been holding unethically so far.

On Sunday, May 23, 2010, Maoist legislators Dev Prasad Gurung and Ekaraj Bhandari have registered a deal for extending the term of the CA at the legislative secretariat. The deal comprises 1) formation of a national government 2) based on the consensus politics rather than a majority vote. The central committee of the UCPN-Maoist has decided to put forward such a deal for extending the term of the CA. The term of the CA is expiring on May 28, 2010.

We have already found that one of the leaders has publicly stated that he has been not for the CA writing a new constitution. We can assume that the CA must have a number of such members that don’t believe in the CA writing a new constitution. Similarly, most of the political leaders don’t want the CA writing a new constitution. So, they could not work on the consensus politics and could not bring a lasting peace and write a new constitution and promulgate it on the date set for it. Then, Nepalis don’t have an alternative to a movement for federalism, secularism, and republic that Nepalis have achieved by the second People’s movement.

May 23, 2010.

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