New government faces daunting challenges

Kathmandu, October 17

There are a host of challenges that face the KP Oli-led government and whether it succeeds in delivering would depend on how it turns them into opportunities.

The first and the foremost challenge for the new government would be to give people a feeling that the new constitution is better than the previous one. For this, it needs to enact dozens of new laws, amend many existing ones and effectively implement the provisions of the new constitution.

Similarly, it would have to immediately form a commission for the demarcation of provinces — the major bone of contention between the political forces in the constitution writing process-- for implementation of federalism.

Local elections have not been held for the last 18 years and this has affected development activities at the local level. To give momentum to stalled projects and initiate new ones, the government would have to conduct local elections at the earliest.

Restructuring of infrastructures damaged in the earthquake and developing planned settlements would be another major challenge for the new government.

The government needs to take opposition Nepali Congress into confidence and bring the agitating Madhesi parties on board to turn challenges into opportunities and successfully accomplish these tasks, says UML leader Rabindra Adhikari.

“Nepali Congress should not be considered an opposition, but an equal partner. If the new government acknowledges this, it would be a lot easier for the government to accomplish the tasks before it,” said NC youth leader Gagan Thapa.

Oli’s biggest challenge would be to change his anti-Madhesi posture and bring the agitating Madhes-based parties to the negotiating table.

“Also, merely mending ties with India will not be sufficient as people want the relationship between the two countries to be established on the basis of equality,” said Thapa.

“The government needs to take initiatives to make Nepal self-reliant and reduce its dependence on India,” said UML leader Adhikari.

Since, this is the first government after promulgation of the new constitution, people have high expectations from it. Prime Minister Oli seems to have realized this and has made clear his plans during his inaugural address to Parliament on Thursday. However, it still needs to be seen whether the government actually translates its words into actions.

Holding the current alliance with the Rastriya Prajatantra Party Nepal and Madheshi Janadhikar Forum (Democratic) would not be easy, says Thapa, adding “It is an unnatural alliance as they were opposing each other till a month ago.”