Possibilities of consensus in Nepali politics opening up with Dashain recess

If the “upbeat” mood of the major party leaders are to be believed, then the end of the long simmering status quo might be seen within the next few days, or rather after the festivity of Dashain concludes. In fact, the top leaders seem to have made use of the Dashain recess to pore over the contentious issue that has been dogging all along, leaving the constitution writing task in an almost suspended state.

It must be remembered that the House has to get into the act to full fill many a obligations, including the approval for the budget for 2009/10. In all this melee for “civilian supremacy”, the real citizens were forgotten, the only highlight was the UCPN (M) with its rigid stance.

Prachand & Koirala

Prachand & Koirala

However, the beginning of the festival of Vijaya Dashami seemed to galvanise the octogenarian Nepali Congress President Girija Prasad Koirala to assert that a solution was possible to the impasse that has been haunting the political activities in the country. In fact, it seemed like god sent that even the UCPN (Maoist) Chairperson Pushpa Kamal Dahal was impressed with the sincerity of Koirala regarding the strategies to be worked out to resolve the demands that would be crucial in the House resuming its usual business, which has been obstructed in general since the new government was formed, except for a few days for the presentation of the policies and programmes and the fiscal budget for 2009/10.

The events of the past few months are enough to suggest how fragile the relations between the three major parties are. It has come as a jolt that the three parties that harped on the usual theme of consensus suddenly came to split apart, with UML leading the government with the strong support of NC and the UCPN(M) as the main opposition trying to flex its muscles. Despite all the talks of chalking out a compromise in the past, no such deal has emerged in all this time. The whole episode has hung on the fine thread of the Maoist demand for parliamentary debate on the President’s move regarding the then CoAS Rookmangud Katawal.

Among the forces who want to see this process derailed, the armed groups, which range from outright criminal outfits to some ethnic and renegade units who want to full fill their demands – however weird – through violence. Matrika Prasad Yadav has openly stated his desire to form a coalition with armed groups working in Tarai while various Kirat factions active in the eastern hills have been moving freely in the hinterlands, brandishing modern weapons and terrorizing people. If the political parties duly elected by the people fail to sort out their differences and assert their authority, these groups will, no doubt, fill in the vacuum.

After all that flurry of disruptive activities and also by UCPN (M) cadres in the past weeks, its leadership seems to have come to the conclusion that the further the political stalemate advances it would not be a winner in the end. That has made it go for “maximum flexibility” the meaning of which is more understood by them than by others.

Yet, there is an undercurrent to get the issue resolved at the earliest by getting their demand fulfilled in a more indirect manner like the “common proposal” it is mooting with the possible support of the ruling parties CPN (UML) and NC. The intensified pace of meeting between the major party stalwarts is sending the vibes of an amicable solution to materialise within the shortest time possible. The message that a layperson can read between the lines is that if the UML, NC and UCPN (M) make a point jointly then there can be no delay in its implementation.

The secretariat meeting of the Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) held on Tuesday said the party would maintain maximum flexibility but also asserted that there will be no compromise on the issues of “civilian supremacy” and “president’s action”.

Main source – The Himalayan Times

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