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Prime Minister Prachanda Quit Office

Issue May 2017

Prime Minister Prachanda Quit Office

Siddhi B Ranjitkar


Following the understanding reached with the president of NC Sher Bahadur Deuba, Prime Minster Prachanda quit office on May 24, 2017 despite the opposition CPN-UML urging him to stay on for at least one more month for completing the second-phase local election demonstrating Nepal has the sincere politicians, too that committed to keep the words. Prachanda has disproved that all politicians are crook. During the ten-month reign of Prime Minister Prachanda, Nepal has seen the tremendous political, social and economic achievement. The first-phase local election was done despite the doubt about it. The economic growth has reached 7.5 percent. Participation of women and other socially and economically deprived people has been ensured at the local governance.


After the elections to a Constituent Assembly held in 2013 for the second time, the NC and CPN-UML forged an alliance to form a government on the understanding that the then Prime minister Sushil Koirala would pass on the baton to the Chairman of CPN-UML KP Oli after the promulgation of a new Constitution. After the elections, the NC emerged as a first party while the CPN-UML a second, and the Maoist-Center a third.


After the promulgation of a New Constitution in September 2015, Prime Minister Sushil Koirala stayed on in office disregarding the understanding NC and CPN-UML had reached. Koirala was supposed to hand over the power to Oli after the promulgation of the Constitution but he did not. Breaking the commitments or understandings or even the agreements had been the business as usual.


Then, CPN-UML in alliance with the Maoist-Center formed a new government on the understanding that Prime Minister KP Oli would turn over the power to Chairman of Maoist-Center keeping the major party NC on the opposition. Prime Minister Oli behaved as if he had the supreme power, and nobody could move him from power. He ignored everybody including the Chairman of Maoist-Center even though he was a partner in the governance. Prime Minister Oli was pushing the country back not seriously taking actions to hold local elections following the Constitution. He had a great aversion to the demand of the Madheshi and ethnic people leading to the blockade of the country for about six months causing tremendous suffering to the common folks and leading the economic growth almost to the negative.


When the time had come for Oli to pass on the baton to Chairman of Maoist-Center Prachanda, Oli forgot the understanding reached with the Maoist-Center. Oli had publicly stated that he was not obliged to quit the office for Prachanda. That was a great betrayal. Oli even claimed that the Constitution had no provision for removing him from the office. Experts on the Constitution went on discussing the provision. Some experts even supported the claim of Oli ignoring the parliamentary system of electing anybody to or removing him/her from the office of prime minister.


Ultimately, the Maoist-Center in alliance with NC: the largest party in the parliament formed a new government electing the Chairman of the Maoists-Center Prachanda to the office of prime minister on the understanding Prachanda would quit the office after the local elections. Probably, Prime Minister Prachanda was the first politician that had kept the commitment quitting the office following the understanding he had reached with Deuba. So, Deuba has full praises for Prachanda.


Chairman of CPN-UML KP Oli urged Prime Minister Prachanda to stay on in office. Prachanda in his address to the nation on May 24, 2017 thanked the CPN-UML but Prachanda quit office as agreed on with Deuba. Probably, CPN-UML would support Prachanda in the parliament to have the majority for him to stay on in power; obviously, he was not for the dirty political game his predecessors had played.


Some political analysts believed that the Oli’s strategy of supporting Prachanda for continuing in office had been for causing the political chaos and destabilizing the country. If Prachanda had stayed on in power he would be like Sushil Koirala and KP Oli that rejected to following the gentlemanly understanding they had reached making Prachanda as one of them that had been highly politically unscrupulous one. However, Prachanda emerged as the politician having an unusually high moral standard and he had set the example for others to follow how the politicians should be if they really want to serve the country.


It would be very unusual even strange if Prachanda had believed Oli and stayed on in power. It was unimaginable for anybody to believe that any politician would believe Oli and his party that had not allowed Prime Minster Prachanda to address the parliament on May 23, 2017. Prachanda used his office for addressing the nation rather than the parliament after the CPN-UML lawmakers stopped the regular proceedings of the parliament.


Quitting office, Prime Minister Prachanda has opened up the door to Deuba to be the next prime minister but it will be more than a week before Deuba could take office. Following the Constitutional provision, the president sends the message to the parliament to elect a new prime minister with the consensus of all parties within seven days; only after it could not be done then the majority of the lawmakers elect a new prime minister.


Now, some highlights of what Prachanda had said in his address to the nation on May 24, 2017.


Prime Minister Prachanda said that he was to address the parliament on May 23, 2017 but he could not do so because of the opposition party obstructing the parliamentary proceedings. So, he had to use his office to reach the people directly.


Prachanda said that he became the prime minister at the time when the political confusion was at the peak; some folks even opined that the country would be soon in the constitutional vacuum as the enforcement of the Constitution was moving at the snail’s pace; the economic condition had been worst as the economic growth was less than one percent. The power outage had been 20 hours a day; the economic development had been limited to the speeches, said Prachanda.


After 10 months, everything had changed to good. Voters have elected their representatives to the local governance. The power has shifted from the center to the grassroots level. The economic growth has reached 7.5 percent from the 0.8 percent; the revenue collection had increased by 24 percent; the inflation has been lowest in this year compared to the last 12 years, said Prachanda


“Power outage had been 20 hours a day as I already mentioned; so, I took the challenging initiative of ending the power outage launching a “Bright Nepal” campaign, changed the team of Nepal Electricity Authority, completed through the fast-track process, and brought to operation the 220 KVA Kathmandu-Dhalkebar transmission line that had been lying idle for years; brought the Dhalkebar sub-station to operation working 24 hours in three shifts completing it in two months. Various energy policy improvements and the initiatives to implement the projects the government had taken had not only ended the power outage but also had made possible to add 200 MW in the coming year, 600 MW in two years, 1,200 MW in three years making the country the power exporter”, said Prachanda.


“Everybody talked about the Fast-track highway between Kathmandu and Tarai but nobody had given a priority to it. Now, the Nepal Army is going to construct it. I am going to lay a foundation stone soon. The media had launched the negative campaign against the government concerning this fast-track highway,” said Prachanda. Decisions on construction of the tunnel linking Nagdhunga with Naubise had been made several times but none of them was implemented; now, it is sure that the tunnel will be constructed; the construction of the postal highway that would change the life of the Madhesh has been going on at a high speed; the thirsty Kathmandu will have water from the Melamchi River before Dashain (the longest and greatest festival of Nepalese), said Prachanda.


The government will pay up to NPR 100,000 for the treatment of 12 life-taking diseases such as heart, kidney, cancer, Parkinson, alzaimar, head injury, spine injury, sickle cell anemia, brain injury, liver, lungs, and thalsimair; the government has opened up the Nepal Army Hospital and the Nepal Police Hospital to the common folks, said Prachanda.


The government has restarted the previously closed state-owned factories. The government held the foreign investment conference. The commitment of investing US$ 13.51 was made at the conference. It has been largest investment commitment in the history of Nepal. Selling or closing the state-owned enterprises in the past has not only adversely affected the national economy but also sent the negative message to the international community, said Prachanda.


May 25, 2017


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