- If Maoists, NC wish to form new govt, they have to offer their roadmap to the people
Jul 4, 2016-
The ruling Maoist Centre’s disillusionment with the CPN-UML, its senior coalition partner in government, has grown in recent months. Earlier, the party’s plan to form a new government with the Nepali Congress (NC) was aborted at the last moment after Prime Minister KP Oli promised to address Maoist concerns and the two sides signed a nine-point agreement, which, among others, would pave the way for a Maoist-led government.
Disillusionment among the Maoists has once again increased, as the UML seems to be reluctant to address their concerns and acknowledge the existence of the deal. For some time now, Maoist Chairman Dahal has been campaigning for an all-party government under his leadership. But it was clear to all observers that such a government wasn’t within the realm of feasibility, given the UML’s desire to hold on to power for as long as it possibly can. The Maoists have now taken the next logical step. They have said that they are considering withdrawing support to the UML-led administration and forming a coalition government with the NC instead.
This is a step that will have serious consequences for Nepali politics, and the Maoists have to seriously consider whether this will be good for the country. It would be a mistake to simply change the government because certain Maoists and NC leaders want to access power and resources.
The Maoists should be particularly concerned about this, as they were the ones who throughout the constitution drafting process argued that repeated changes of government in the parliamentary system had damaged governance, and that measures were required to ensure that governments were more stable. If they now decide to withdraw support to the UML simply for the sake of the personal ambitions of their leaders, they will appear to be inconsistent and could lose further credibility among the population.
A change of government, however, is a good idea if it has been acting in ways that are damaging to the nation. And those who want to lead the new government need to clearly identify a roadmap as to how they will deal with these challenges.
As we see it, there are two areas where the UML-led government has failed. First, by showing continued intransigence towards Madhesi parties and alienating minority constituencies, it has put the implementation of the constitution at continued risk. Second, the government has treated the earthquake reconstruction process as a resource to dispense patronage to its supporters and failed to provide proper support to earthquake victims. As the second monsoon since the Gorkha Earthquake hits the country, tens of thousands of quake victims are still looking for shelter and the displaced ones are looking for settlements.
If the Maoists and the NC wish to form a new government, they will have to be clear about their commitment to resolving the twin crises and, equally important, communicating their roadmap to the people. They have to reach an accommodation with the Madhesi parties, ensure that the earthquake reconstruction process is given the urgency it deserves, depoliticise the entire process and be more sensitive to the needs of victims. Only if these conditions are met will a change in government be justified.
Published: 04-07-2016 07:36