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Predicting Unpredictable Political Situation In Nepal

Issue 19, May 11, 2010

Siddhi B. Ranjitkar

Not reaching a common understanding on the political issue, the three major political parties such as UCPN-Maoist, NC and CPN-UML have created an unpredictable political situation. Some political analysts started off worrying the country might have a civil war; however, some other political analysts believe that the country would have matured political future because of the parliamentary political parties particularly the NC and the CPN-UML pushing the UCPN-Maoist to violence and the UCPN-Maoist standing up to their commitment to non-violence.

We have seen the massive turnout of the Maoists’ cadres for the celebration of the May Day in Kathmandu on May 1, 2010. They have been perfectly peaceful and disciplined in celebrating the May Day. The managers of the mass rally have also perfectly managed such a massive rally. So, the UCPN-Maoist leaders have not only committed to peaceful movement for peace and constitution in the public but have demonstrated on the eve of the movement for ‘peace and constitution’ they could manage rallies so peacefully. So, we can safely conclude that the UCPN-Maoist’s movement for ‘peace and constitution’ will be perfectly peaceful.

The NC leaders have been dreaming to see the fight to the finish between the UCPN-Maoist and the CPN-UML. So, they have been supporting the man called Madhav Nepal rejected by voters in two constituencies for running the state administration. Although they have been claiming that they are the saviors of democracy but they have sidelined the democratic norms and values only to serve their interest. So, they have been calling the president abusing the Interim Constitution of Nepal of 2007 and directly writing a letter to the then army chief as the most democratic action of the president against the Maoists capturing the state power while they are in power.

Keeping their commitment to follow the democratic norms and values, the UCPN-Maoist leaders resigned from the government protesting the president’s unconstitutional move on directly writing a letter to the then army chief and demanding the correction of the president’s undemocratic action. Then, the UCPN-Maoist legislators took the issue of the resident’s unconstitutional action to the legislature for a debate over it but the Speaker  acting again undemocratically ruled out the debate over this issue. The UCPN-Maoist legislators have boycotted the legislature for more than 40 sessions but the Speaker of the legislature did not listen to the demand of the UCPN-Maoist for a debate over the president’s unconstitutional move. Someone took the issue of the president’s undemocratic action to the Supreme Court of Nepal but the Supreme Court of Nepal has not be in a hurry to give ruling on such a nationally important case. The UCPN-Maoist leaders say that ultimately they have to launch a movement for ‘peace and constitution’.

The UCPN-Maoist leaders have been alleging the parliamentary political party leaders particularly the NC and CPN-UML leaders forcing the ceremonial president to abuse the Interim Constitution of Nepal of 2007, have conspired against democracy, republic and federalism.

Not cooperating on correcting the president’s undemocratic action rather pushing the country to the chaotic political situation, the NC and CPN-UML leaders have proved the allegations of the UCPN-Maoist leaders that the NC and CPN-UML leaders have been conspiring against democracy, republic and federalism to be true.

Reading the body languages of the NC leaders while they are talking to the reporters after the meeting of the leaders of the UCPN-Maoist, NC and CPN-UML, we can say that the NC leaders are very happy with the current political deadlock and the UCPN-Maoist and the Madhav government going head-on collisions as they have desired and even designed.

The NC leaders and some of the CPN-UML leaders have believed in finishing off the UCPN-Maoist as the Sri lankan Government has finished off LTTE in Sril lanka. However, the main problem for those guys is that the UCPN-Maoist leaders are not resorting to the armed conflict. So, they cannot use the 90,000 strength of the Nepal Army for achieving their goal of finishing off the UCPN-Maoist.

The UCPN-Maoist has the strong grip at grassroots level. The UCPN-Maoist farmers have grabbed the land of the large landowners and politicians such as Sher Bahadur Deuba of NC, Lokendra Bahadur Chanda of RPP, and Amrit Kumar Bohara of CPN-UML, and have been working on the land for their livelihood. Similarly, the UCPN-Maoist has penetrated deep into the manufacturing industries, hotel industries, business organizations, the intellectual organizations such as Nepal Bar Association, and other professional organizations, and into the state-run companies.

The farmers grabbing the land of the large landowners are not in a mood to quit the land. They know that as long as the UCPN-Maoist is strong the land will belong to them. So, they will fight against anybody for keeping the UCPN-Maoist strong. So, despite the repeated commitment of the UCPN-Maoist leaders to return the seized land to the owners they have not been able to do so. While in the government, the UCPN-Maoist leaders planned to compensate the landowners for the land they have lost to the farmers through a land reform program but the NC leaders did not agree on it.

Similarly, the workers and laborers at the factories, hotel industries and other business organizations are supporting the UCPN-Maoist, as the UCPN-Maoist leaders have been for the welfare of them. Consequently, they are also fighting for keeping the UCPN-Maoist in power.

In addition, the UCPN-Maoist has put a large number of its cadres on the payroll. Such cadres have the full time political job. The UCPN-Maoist has the 19,000 strength of the People’s Liberation Army living at various cantonments and paid by the government.

The UCPN-Maoist has continued to collect large sums of mandatory donations from the businesspersons and industrialists. For fear of being the targets of the UCPN-Maoist cadres, they contribute large sums of money to the UCPN-Maoist voluntarily.

The UCPN-Maoist leaders have seized the opportunity of cooperating with the parliamentary party leaders on reaching the 12-point understanding with them, and successfully being the major party in the Constituent Assembly cum legislature and then finishing off the monarchy and declaring the country a Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal. The UCPN-Maoist leaders have achieved all these successes through the peaceful means.

During the last four years from 2006 to 2010, the UCPN-Maoist leaders have gone through a substantial transformation. Except for the threatening languages they have used, they have comfortably adjusted to the peaceful movement for achieving their goals. They have mentally and physically trained their cadres to be peaceful at any event.

Now, we can predict the unpredictable political situation in Nepal. The UCPN-Maoist leaders will not let their cadres to indulge in any violence. The Madhav government will not have any excuse to use the force against the peaceful demonstrators. So, it is quite unlikely that the UCPN-Maoist’s movement for ‘peace and constitution’ will turn into violent protests.

We can draw a parallel between the current political situations in Thailand and Nepal. In Thailand, the military has removed the elected government of Thaksin Sinawatra with the green signal from the most revered king. Supporters of the Thaksin have been in the peaceful movement for the return of democracy in Thailand and have been in the protest rally almost for a month in Bangkok. In Nepal, the ceremonial president with the support of the leaders of the eighteen political parties has abused the Interim Constitution of Nepal of 2007 for directly writing a letter to the then army chief. Unlike in Thailand, the elected Nepalese Prime Minister has resigned voluntarily protesting against the unconstitutional move of the president and since then his party and he have been fighting for the people’s supremacy for protecting the constitution and for institutionalizing the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal.

Leaders of the so-called parliamentary parties such as NC and CPN-UML have been shamelessly indulging in the unconstitutional and undemocratic activities in the name of saving the country from taking over by the UCPN-Maoist leaders. These guys have gone to the limit of violating the democratic norms and values making the man called Madhav Nepal defeated in two constituencies a Prime Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal.

The worst possible scenario is that the political situation in Nepal might develop to the situation in Kyrgyzstan where the people’s movement has chased off the elected president and placed the opposition in the power in the recent past. If the Madhav government of the 22-political parties does not come to the term of the UCPN-Maoist and make peace and write constitution peacefully, the UCPN-Maoist cadres might force the current government out of power no matter how many political parties have been supporting.

Some political analysts worry what will happen to the constituent Assembly, the peace process, and the writing of a new constitution in the case of forcibly removing the current government in other words the UCPN-Maoist leaders coming to power through the people’s movement. The most likely case will be setting up of federalism the UCPN-Maoist has already declared. It is quite unlikely the current government will be able to run the country imposing a state of emergency and running the administration for some years to come dissolving the Constituent Assembly and not writing a new constitution, as the majority of the Nepalis have been for writing a new constitution, for federalism and for a lasting peace through a political stability.

May 2, 2010

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