With NC in oppn, statute-making may not be easy

Kathmandu, August 15:

The defeat of Sher Bahadur Deuba in today’s prime ministerial election can have serious effect on the framing of a new constitution, as the Nepali Congress will now sit in the opposition.

“Now, the Maoists and NC seem to be rattling their swords against each other. The peace process might suffer if the Maoists do not implement agreements,” said political historian Dr Rajesh Gautam.

Voters want all these parties to be part of the transitional government. The inclusion of all these parties in the government will make the process of framing the statute easier.

Therefore, the division among the four big parties is against the people’s mandate expressed through the CA polls.

As the opposition, NC will not remain a mute spectator. If the Maoists failed to placate NC, the rift between the two parties would further widen. In that case, NC would try to exploit the situation.

The constitution framing process may suffer if NC hits the street opposing the Maoist-led government.

The NC is expected to object to PLA’s integration into the Nepal Army as it fears that Maoists will spread its influence in security bodies by trying to integrate a maximum number of PLA combatants. NC, which feels alienated by the Maoists, may adopt extreme measures against the PLA’s integration into the army. Though the Maoists have been saying that a special committee comprising representatives of all major parties will set modalities of integration, the integration seems to be tricky as there are no uniform rules governing it.

On the other hand, it will be easier for the Maoists to bring the peace process to a logical conclusion by taking the opposition into confidence than pushing it into a corner.

“The Maoists may have gained much if they had taken NC into confidence,” said NC leader Nar Hari Acharya.

The Maoists will have to address issues raised by NC in the past because other coalition partners also want those issues addressed.

“NC’s role in the opposition will discipline the Maoists,” political scientist Dev Raj Dahal said. If the CPN-Maoist does not transform itself into a civilian party, which is the NC’s major concern, the outfit may lose the trust of national and international forces, he added.

“The Maoists should be mindful that they are still on USA’s terrorist watch list. If NC stays in the opposition for long, it will raise the hackle of neighbours and international community,” said Dahal.

NC is also expected to raise the issue of state restructuring. The Maoist proposal to restructure the state along ethnic lines is something the NC is strongly opposed to. The NC and the UML, unlike the Maoists, do not have blueprints for provinces, while MJF has a proposal that does not match with other parties’ proposals. Though, there will be a commission to demarcate the provinces, the chances are that the NC could seriously object to the Maoists’ plan.

“The NC may oppose our state restructuring plan,” said Barsha Man Pun ‘Ananta.’