New roadmap

  • There is a tremendous amount of work that needs to be done after the election

Nov 13, 2017-

The election campaign for the two phases of elections to the federal parliament and provincial assemblies is now in full steam. Political leaders have fanned across the country to convince the population of the contents of their manifestos and their own individual utility for the voters. 

But it is evident that the promises being made are rather generalised and vague. The UML-Maoist Centre alliance is urging the population to vote for them so that they can gain a two-thirds majority and bring “stability” to the country. Meanwhile, the Nepali Congress and its partners claim that voting for them will ensure the preservation of democracy from the hands of “authoritarian communists”. 

Almost all election manifestos have extravagant promises of economic growth, without offering any specific strategy to achieve these soaring goals. In addition, there is very little attention given to the local issues. Nobody seems to quite know how provincial assemblies and governments will come into existence and what they will accomplish. The only thing that party leaders have said about federalism is to promise that the area from which they are competing will be made the provincial capital. 

The grandiose claims made in the campaign may enable the parties to get the support of some sections of the population. But the vague way in which the parties have thought about the future is a cause for concern. There is a tremendous amount of work that needs to be done immediately after the election. It will be very difficult for the parties to undertake this work if they have no plan: this most certainly is not just another periodic general election, where the major task after Parliament is constituted is to form a new government. 

To take just a few examples of the work that needs to be done after the elections, first, the parties will have to elect a new president and vice-president. Then they will have to elect a new National Assembly.

This will likely be a complex process, especially since the bill concerning this election was passed by an ordinance and not through Parliament. The new Parliament might contest this ordinance, which could lead to delays.

Furthermore, major steps need to be taken in order to implement the federal structure. New provincial capitals have not even been selected. Most provinces do not have adequate infrastructure to house the new assemblies and provincial governments. The central government will have to appoint governors to the provinces. 

All in all, this is a staggering amount of work. Of course, it would be unrealistic to expect the parties to immediately come up with a precise schedule to accomplish all these tasks. Nonetheless, it would be wise for the government to at least come up with a tentative roadmap for the steps to be taken after the election. This could save significant time and avoid confusion. 

Published: 13-11-2017 08:40

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