BRB bats for directly elected exec head

- POST REPORT, Kathmandu

Jul 25, 2015-

Former Prime Minister and senior UCPN (Maoist) leader Baburam Bhattarai said on Saturday that the new constitution should adopt a directly elected chief executive.

Speaking at an interaction programme in the Capital on Saturday, Bhattarai said form of government is the most important component of the constitution that has a direct impact on people’s life from political, historical and socio-economic perspectives.

Bhattarai stressed the need to hold more discussions on the topic, referring to the public opinions on the draft constitution where a majority of people were found to have been in favour of a directly elected executive.  

Pointing to the political instability in Nepal where not a single prime minister has been able to complete the five-year tenure since the establishment of parliamentary system in 2007 BS, he said the current system has failed while other systems of governance remain to be experimented yet.

“It would be appropriate to adopt a new system of governance with a directly elected prime minister or president as executive head of the nation as suggested by the Nepali people,” said Bhattarai, who also chairs the Political Dialogue and Consensus Committee (PDCC) of Constituent Assembly (CA).

Bhattarai said regardless of what the four major parties had agreed in the 16-point deal on June 8, it would be an appropriate and correct step on the part of the Constituent Assembly (CA) to provision a directly elected executive head by taking into consideration the widely desired people’s interest.

Bhattarai said the directly elected executive would not only ensure the stable government but will also play an effective role in development, prosperity and social justice of the country. “The recent ‘power sharing culture’ and ‘crony capitalism’ seen in the public bodies cannot be eradicated unless we adopt a directly elected executive system,” he said.

The prevailing poverty, unemployment and dependency on other nation as well as the target of obtaining double-digit economic growth cannot be resolved under the existing “corrupt parliamentary system”, according to him. “Our experience shows the existing West-ministerial parliamentary system has brought many anomalies,” said Bhattarai. “However, it would be inaccurate to presume that the directly elected executive head would eradicate the existing political malpractices with the swing of a magic wand. We would only know the efficacy of directly elected executive in the future.”

Sharing views on form of government at the interaction, CPN-UML leader Yogesh Bhattarai said a directly elected executive head is the best alternative for Nepal.

“We need an elected executive head to face the external pressure and lead the country towards political stability,” he said.

Nepali Congress leader Chandra Bhandari also underlined the need for a directly elected executive head. He dismissed suggestions that a directly elected executive head would turn into a dictator.

Former Chief Election Commissioner Bhojraj Pokhrel said he used to take the parliamentary system as an ideal system, but is now in favour of the directly elected chief executive.

Former Finance Secretary Rameshwor Khanal said the directly elected chief executive is needed for political stability and economic development of the country. “Directly-elected chief executive could implement policy and programme effectively,” Khanal said. Political analyst Lok Raj Baral said there should not be any ceremonial head above the executive, while Industrialist Ravi Bhakta Shrestha said frequent government changes in the past have severely affected country’s economy.

“The constant changes of prime ministers, ministers and secretaries at ministries have adverse effect on the economy,” said Shrestha.

Published: 26-07-2015 08:01

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