Prez Bhandari stresses on holding polls at all levels

Kathmandu, January 28

In sharp and clear terms as she used to speak publicly when she was the CPN-UML vice-chairperson until three months ago, President Bidya Devi Bhandari today shared her views on the country’s current politics with some parliament reporters at her office in Shital Niwas.

After completion of three months in the high office, she said the success of the new constitution and her term as the head of the state would depend on two issues — implementation of federal system and conduct of four levels of elections, including election of local bodies under the transitional provision, election of central legislature, election of provincial legislature and election of local bodies under the federal system.

Although the country adopted federalism eight years ago, it has yet to be implemented, she said. “The new constitution will be implemented in the true sense only after elections are held at all the four levels. Only then would I feel that I have accomplished the responsibility as the head of the state.”

Bhandari expressed her discontentment against the current model of federalism. “We could have adopted a model that respected cultural and geographic diversity. However, we were dragged by many other models and could not sufficiently discuss the model that was best for our country.

That is why we are facing problems,” Bhandari said talking to journalists representing various media houses.

Asked about her role as the symbol of national unity, she said, “I don’t believe that the nationalism and national unity is at stake now. Rather, I think that only certain sections of the people are divided. All Nepali people who live in Nepal should be proud of being a Nepali. It is easier to wake up a sleeping person than to awake a person pretending to be asleep.” She said the recent amendment to the constitution would resolve the current crisis.

Asked if she wished to internationalise the issue of blockade at Nepal-India border, the President said, “It can be done if necessary but the government has not made an official request to me in that regard.”

Bhandari said the provision of polygamy could not be avoided in the new constitution due to objection from majority of male parliament members.

She also suggested to the leaders of political parties to act responsibly than to quarrel with each other on petty political issues. “Promoting agriculture, tourism and productivity of domestic products are more important now than just making hollow statements.”

Bhandari also said that she found the role of the President more challenging than that of a party leader as she should play the role as a national leader as a president than the role of working under certain ideology.