DAVOS: Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli has said Nepal is a country that believes in democracy while speaking as a panellist in a session on “Shaping the Future of Democracy” under the 49th meeting of the World Economic Forum here today.
“We have brought tremendous changes in the field of democracy by abolishing an autocratic system to establish a federal democratic republic", PM Oli said adding, "Nepal follows the prime ministerial system with the executive powers resting on the cabinet and Prime Minister."
However, there is no question of centralisation of power as we have an independent parliament, judiciary and press freedom while the people are sovereign.
Sharing that he fought for democracy for half a century spending many years in prison, PM Oli said, “I do not want to be a ruler but a servant of the people. I want to extend democracy from the political sphere to bring changes in the life of people.”
He said, "The government is committed to bringing changes on good governance and economic development which is guided by our motto of prosperous Nepal, Happy Nepalis."
In regards to a relationship with the press, the PM said he had a normal relationship with the press, as in democracy there is always need for a normal relationship. “In an autocracy, media is controlled to praise the rulers but in a democracy they criticise, which is normal”, PM Oli added.
The press is very instrumental to strengthen democracy, to bring prosperity in the lives of people and to inform accurately and to educate the people. However, people want to see the responsible press in Nepal, the PM said.
The PM also asserted that yellow journalism, however, was not good as it misleads people. “In the name of press freedom, if somebody gives false news and hurts others and damages other's family life, prestige and business then it is not good”, PM Oli said.
He also cautioned about the likelihood of the younger generation being misled by some social media.
PM Oli, however, said there was no intention and no sanction would be imposed to control the press freedom. “Press is completely free in Nepal and there is no question of restriction.”
Other speakers in the panel were President of Colombia Iván Duque Márquez, American journalist Arthur Gregg Sulzberger, Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan and Founder and CEO of the Leadership Now Project Daniella Ballou-Aares.
The session was moderated by British journalist Martin Harry Wolf.