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Results Of Federal And Provincial Elections Of 2017

Issue December 2017

Results Of Federal And Provincial Elections Of 2017

Siddhi B Ranjitkar


Federal and provincial elections have swept away the elements of Hindu fundamentalists, remnants of the monarchy and the corrupt politicians giving the fresh faces a chance to begin the new chapter of a new administration of a new Nepal. The votes are for a strong and stable federal government for running a corruption free administration for the fast-track socio-economic development leading the folks to a new height of prosperity. So, whoever received the majority votes needs to honor the people’s mandate, and keep the election promises. NC has heavily lost the elections thanks to the incompetence of Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba, and his immediate predecessor Sushil Koirala.


Nepalese have voted for building a new Nepal without the remnants of the age-old prejudices that had benefited a few people that had been part of the monarchy that had imposed one religion, one language, and one dress code for the various ethnic groups, and an autocratic rule without considering the needs and voices of the common folks. The administration, police and army had been to safeguard the monarchy and his administration repressing the common folks, and leaving the common folks in the dare poverty, which is visible even today.


Now, the new administration needs to clean up a few remaining elements of the old practices of only a few people taking the benefits out of the entire nation’s resources, remnants of the monarchy and the Hindu fundamentalists that had been curse to the common folks. For example, Deuba had announced the celebration of the anniversary of the tyrant Prithvi Narayan Shah in the coming year violating the election code of conduct just before the elections; that might be one of the reasons why his party NC suffered so much defeat in the elections; the new administration needs to correct it immediately. Nepalese have voted for cleaning up the remnants of the monarchy, Hindu fundamentalists, and exclusive administration.


The Left Alliance has been heading to having a two-thirds majority at the federal House of Representatives, and at the six provinces except for the second province. So, the Left Alliance will have a strong federal government and then the provincial governments making the alliance for easily implementing the election pledges.


The federal government along with the provincial governments needs to run corruption free administration. Nepalese have voted for it. Voters have done away with the corrupt politicians that have shamelessly robbed the people, steal taxpayers’ money and made their families and relatives rich not being much different from the Shah-Rana rulers of the past.


Ignoring the strong advice of the Auditor General not to set up a Tax Redemption Commission, the then Minister for Finance Dr Ram Sharan Mahat did set up only to cause almost 20 billion tax revenue loss to the nation, appointing the chief of inland Revenue Chudamani Sharma as the secretary to the commission and Lumbadhoj Mahat and Umesh Dhakal to the commission members. They waived even the VAT (Value added tax) for making money for themselves and probably for their boss that appointed them. The Special Court is taking up the case the Commission on Investigation into Abuse of Authority has filed against these corrupt guys. So, voters have rightly punished Dr Mahat in the election.


The new administration needs to stop such revenue loss to the nation, and other corrupt practices such as the political cadres fighting for the State jobs, not punishing the contractors that simply disappeared after receiving the first advance amount for initiating the jobs, contractors leaving the contract jobs half done and contractors delaying the contract jobs causing time overrun and cost overrun of projects making the tremendous loss to the nation and the beneficiaries of the projects. However, the concerned ministries not taking any actions against such culprits indicating the concerned ministers must have share in such corrupt practices.


The Left Alliance needs to understand that voters have been mostly of the new generation that had placed a great hope on the administration the Left Alliance is going to run in a near future for the expeditious economic development for creating millions of jobs so that the youths don’t need to go to the Middle East or South-East Asian countries, and other countries and work on the sizzling sun draining their blood.


The Left Alliance needs to break up the cartels of different interest groups such as transportations’ cartel, and even of the civil servants that have been nuisance to the public interest. The previous coalition governments have not been able to break up any of those prevailing cartels because they themselves must have involved in those cartels. The Left Alliance with the majority in the federal and provincial Houses of Representatives could easily do away with the cartels in the interest of the common folks.


The Left Alliance needs not be arrogant of the elections victory rather needs to honor the voices of the opposition, ethnic and Madheshi people. The immediate most challenging issue to the Left Alliance administration will be to meet the demands of the Madheshi political parties. With the cooperation of the Madheshi political parties, the Left Alliance will have a sufficient majority to amend the constitution to suit the needs of the Madheshi people.


Now, let us see how the political quakes have so vigorously shook down the NC candidates running for the federal and provincial Houses of Representatives. Most of the central committee members such as Ram Chandra Poudel, Krishna Prasad Sitaula, Bimalendra Nidhi, Dr. Shekhar Koirala, Arjun Narsingh KC, Nabindra Raj Joshi, Dr Ram Sharan Mahat and his brother have failed in securing required votes to get elected. The margin of votes these party stalwarts have received have been less than 5,000 to 10,000 than the winning candidates in some special cases less than the half of the votes, and only in a few cases NC candidates have suffered defeat with a few thousands vote difference.


Any morally strong leaders would have immediately resigned from the office after the devastating election defeat but Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba also holding the position of the president of NC did not think it necessary to do so, and remained stick to his position. British Prime Minister David Cameron quit the office immediately after his party got defeated in the referendum on the Brexit. Surely, nobody could compare Deuba with Cameron.


Deuba put pressure on the then Prime Minister Prachanda of the coalition government of CPN-Maoist-Center and NC to promote Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Jaya Bahadur Chand listed at the bottom of the four eligible candidates based on the seniority and merits for promotion to Inspector General (IG). DIG Navaraj Silwal was on the top of the list of the eligible candidates for promotion to IG. So, he went to appeal the Supreme Court for justice after he did not get promotion.


Hearing on the appeal of DIG Silwal, a bench of Chief Justice Sushila Karki ruled that the government did not follow the rules and regulations for promoting the DIG to IG, and ordered the government to follow the rules and regulations in other words to promote the senior most DIG Silwal. Then, the government charged Silwal for forging his certificates and even tried to arrest him for the forgery case.


Silwal later joined the CPN-UML, and got the ticket for running for the federal House of Representatives. He won the election at one of the constituencies of Lalitpur district. Silwal missed the promotion to IG but he got elected to the federal House of Representatives. Obviously, Silwal was the man of Chairman of CPN-UML KP Oli, and Jaya Bahadur Chand of Deuba.


Then, Deuba assembled a group of lawmakers to bring the vindictive motion of impeachment against Chief Justice Sushila Karki immediately suspending her from the office even though she had a month or so to go before the retirement. Chief Justice Karki had been the most outstanding justice and then the chief justice for being impartial and for following the rule of law boldly.


Certainly, Deuba and his followers abused the provision of the Article on impeachment made in the constitution for binging up the motion of impeachment against the chief justice without any justifiable reasons for impeachment when he was not even in the government.


Now, as a Prime Minister Deuba did not make any efforts to fire the Chairman of Nepal Oil Corporation Gopal Khadka properly following the rules and regulations after the Supreme Court reinstated him because Deuba’s cabinet had fired Khadka allegedly for irregularities in purchasing land for NOC by making sufficient loopholes for him to go to the Supreme Court and get reinstated. The irregularities in purchasing land involved billions of Nepalese rupees.


After the massive irregularities in purchasing the land for building depots for storing petroleum products at various places the Nepalese daily newspaper called “Nagarik” had exposed, the cabinet of Deuba played the drama of firing Chairman of NOC Gopal Khadka only to get him back to job in the name of seeking justice. This is one of the amazing corruption cases in which everybody from the cabinet down to the project executing level involved.


Even after the federal and provincial elections, and his party has badly lost, Deuba as the prime minister abused the office appointing someone to the “Gorkhapatra Samsthan” and extending the terms of army officials provoking warnings of CPN-UML.


Deuba appointed Basanta Prakash Upadhaya to the general manager of Gorkhpatra Corporation, and extended the term of Brigadier Generals such as Damodar Thapa and Nabajit Shumsher JB Rana, and the term of Major General Yogendra Bahadur Khand following the decision of the cabinet meeting made on December 11, 2017, according to the Spokesperson for the government also Minister for Information and Communications: Mohan Bahadur Basnet.


In a press release issued on Monday, December 11, 2017, CPN-UML stated that the caretaker government is abusing the authority means making new appointments and extending the terms of army officials, and warned of rescinding all the decisions the caretaker government Deuba made.


For all these things of abusing the power, and sad election results, certainly Deuba should be held accountable, and his incompetence has lead the party to this disastrous defeat; consequently most of the so influential leaders have to accept the election defeat.


Deuba’s lack of skill in keeping the CPN-Maoist-Center in the alliance with the NC has been one of the main reasons for the election defeat. Despite the fact that Chairman of CPN-Maoist-Center Prachanda has repeatedly and publicly said that the coalition of Maoist-Center and NC would continue for another 10 years, Deuba could not keep the coalition intact even for a month or so after he received the torch of the administration from Prachanda following the agreement on running the administration in rotation.


Immediately after taking over the administration from Prachanda, Prime Minister Deuba has pushed Prachanda to the opposition party CPN-UML for the poll alliance and for the ultimate party integration of CPN-Maoist-Center and CPN-UML. Instead of keeping the attorney general and chairman of National Planning Commission as the coalition partners, Deuba forced them out of the offices, and appointed his own persons to those offices antagonizing the coalition partner.


Once, the Left Alliance became the reality in the political scene at the time of upcoming federal and provincial elections, very nervous of the Left Alliance, Deuba rather than forming a strong democratic alliance engaged in exploring the possibility of postponing the elections until the environment conducive to the NC would be created. Once, he could not do so, Deuba engaged in the negative campaign of saying that if the Left Alliance were to win the elections then these elections would be the last ones not thinking that voters would never believe in such false accounts.


Deuba could not consolidate the NC neither the so-called democratic alliance he said that he had set up except for inducting Chairman of broken Rastriya Prajatantra Party (RPP) Kamal Thapa in his cabinet grossly violating the election code of conduct. Thapa has been the strong supporter of the monarchy and Hinduism, and for the exclusive central administration.


Deuba could not properly manage the allocations of tickets to his party leaders and cadres for running for the federal and provincial Houses of Representatives. His spouse got the ticket, other characters such as Dr. Govinda Raj Pokharel: former National Planning Commission chairman and recently the CEO of National Reconstruction Authority, and former Ambassador Dip Kumar Upadhaya also received the tickets denying tickets to the able and sincere party leaders and cadres. All of them lost the elections. Deuba could not effectively bring the Rastriya Janata Party (RJP), and Federal Social Forum Nepal (FSFN) around to the democratic alliance seriously.


Deuba could not get along with even with RPP of Kamal Thapa not supporting RPP candidate in Jhapa constituency surrendering the ticket to Krishna Prasad Sitaula provoking a strong disagreement of Kamal Thapa consequently leading to Rajendra Prasad Lingden: leader of RPP to run for the federal House of Representative against Krishna Prasad Sitaula, with the support of the Left Alliance setting aside the Hindu State and the monarchy. Lingden badly defeated Sitaula in the election. KP Oli vigorously campaigned for Lingden.


Deuba could not commit a strong and corruption free administration on the election campaign. He never said anything about the rule of law and corruption while on the campaign trail rather consistently launched an attack on the Left Alliance trying to scare away the voters from voting the Left Alliance stating the Left Alliance would impose a totalitarian system of governance. Unfortunately for his party and Deuba, voters turned back on him. Deuba said that he would have zero tolerance to corruption at the International Anti-corruption Day 2017. It was too late as voters have already voted. He needed to forcefully say that he would have zero tolerance for corruption on the campaign trail, which he failed terribly.


Earthquakes also have contributed to the catastrophic defeat of the NC party in the federal and provincial elections. Most of the NC candidates except for Gagan Thapa failed in doing anything for the quake victims after the devastating quakes hit Nepal on April 25, and May 12, 2015 whereas CPN-UML and Maoists candidates have the history of helping the quake victims.


Former Prime Minister Sushil Koirala, who happened to preside over the government at the time of quakes, had also made some contributions to the defeat of the NC party in the elections. He had told the quake victims that he would build the houses for them before the monsoon set in but he never kept that promise made to the quake victims.


Prime Minister Sushil Koirala announced that he would provide the outgoing passengers with five hundred vehicles including school buses for the free ride to different destinations when folks working in Kathmandu were in a hurry to move out after the devastating quakes hit the country. Folks waiting for such buses at the bus park since 3:00 a.m. morning have lost their patience and shouted slogans against Prime Minister Sushil Koirala. Probably, voters have not forgotten that Prime minister Koirala did not provide the buses what he said he would.


Koirala also repeatedly said on camera while receiving the donations from individuals and the representatives of organizations that he would have zero tolerance for corruption and he would not let misuse the donated money for the quake victims but he awfully failed in taking actions against the minister for urban development and the secretary to the ministry despite the obvious corruption they had committed purchasing low quality tarps and tents at high cost and for not keeping the proper records of distribution of those relief supplies raising the questions about whether the ministry people have purchased the said number of tarps and tents for the quake victims or not. Probably, some of the NC leaders had made a huge sum of money purchasing low-grade tarps, and tents paying the prices for the high-grade for the quake victims.


“Antarghat” is another reason given for the defeat of some NC candidates. It means some leaders of NC going against the candidates of the party when some leaders did not receive the party tickets for running for the offices. For example, some political analysis attributed the defeat of Ram Chandra Poudel in the Tanahu constituency to the activities of Govinda Raj Joshi. When Joshi did not receive the NC party ticket he filed his nomination, as an independent candidate but Poudel complained to the Chief Election Officer about Joshi being indicted for the corruption by the Special Court could not be a candidate. The election commission cancelled the Joshi’s nomination. Then, Joshi strongly campaigned against Poudel and successfully defeated Poudel.


Leaders and cadres of CPN-UML and Maoist-Center had helped the homeless quake victims to build transitional shelters immediately after the quakes. Consequently, voters rewarded them at the time of the federal and provincial elections. Even in the Bhaktapur constituency, CPN-UML candidate Mahesh Basnet won the elections, as he went to the quake victims personally and managed to build sheds for them for the immediate relief.


Now, the Left Alliance has a chance of taking the country to the right path of the fast-track socio-economic development following the rule of law, abandoning the political economical and administrative corruption that has been so rampant in the Nepalese life. Rather than seeking share in everything possible, political leaders need to engage in the absolute development process eradicating any remnants of exclusive administration, and the remnants of the Hindu fundamentalists and the monarchy that had robbed the country to the extent possible for making it so poor even today.


No political leaders have any excuse whatsoever for any sorts of deviation from the sincere socio-economic development, from the inclusive politics, administration, police and army. Monarchists have denied certain ethnic groups for serving in the army in the past making the monopoly of the people of the certain castes on serving the army. During the period of the monarchy, Hindu fundamentalists have denied the people of other faiths observing their festivals, and following their culture, forcing them to follow one religion of Hindusim, one language, and one dress code for all the people. Fortunately, all the cultures and religions of the ethnic people survived the Shah-Rana rule that had prevailed for 240 years. All these have the things of the past; any politicians advocating for these things would be severely dealt with in the coming elections. Now, the battleground for the good and the bad is the periodic election.


December 12, 2017

Latest update on December 16, 2017

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