EDITORIAL: Towards stability
Prolonged political transition that began with the signing of the CPA in 2006 now is over with the successful conclusion of three tiers of elections
The National Assembly (NA) election was held on Wednesday, two months after the last phase of the parliamentary and provincial elections were held on December 7. The NA election was held in six provinces except for Province No 2, where all NA candidates were elected unopposed. A total of 1,677 out of the total 2,056 voters — 443 provincial assembly members and 1,234 chiefs and deputy chiefs of local level units — exercised their franchise to elect 32 NA members in six provinces. Twenty-four NA members have already been elected unopposed from six provinces altogether. Three members will be nominated by the President on the recommendation of the Council of Ministers. It took such a long time to hold the NA election as President Bidhya Devi Bhandari authenticated an ordinance related to the NA election only on December 29, two months after PM Sher Bahadur Deuba submitted it to her on October 24. The government also delayed on announcing the NA election date as major political parties were divided over voting system of the NA. The CPN-UML, which emerged as the largest party in the general elections, and CPN-Maoist Centre were insisting on holding the NA election on the First-Past-the-Post (FPtP) system while the Nepali Congress and Madhes-based parties were in favour of Single Transferable Voting (STV) system. The government had proposed STV in the ordinance.
After the NA election, the Election Commission (EC) has said it will publish results of the parliamentary seats held under the proportional representation (PR) system on Thursday when final results of the NA election will be out. The EC had withheld results of the parliamentary PR list to ensure 33 percent representation of women in the bicameral parliament. The EC will ask the political parties to recommend names from the closed list that they had submitted to the EC prior to the election within three days. The EC is set to submit the results of the parliamentary elections — closed list and FPtP — to the President within a week. As per the constitutional provision, the President will appoint leader of a parliamentary party having support of a majority members of the House of Representatives as prime minister. If no one gets the backing of the majority members of the House, she will appoint leader of the largest political party as PM subject to win vote of confidence of the House within one month.
The prolonged political transition that began with the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Accord in December 2006, however, now is over with the successful conclusion of the three tiers of elections. The only issues that have remained unresolved are the human rights violations and cases of enforced disappearances that took place during the Maoist war. The Truth and Reconciliation and Commission of Investigation on Enforced Disappeared Persons should be able to settle these cases within the deadline. The new government to be formed soon will have no luxury to beg excuses for not being able to deliver services to the people. On the other hand, the government should also uphold the rule of law; maintain fiscal discipline and expedite the development works.
President Bidya Devi Bhandari on Tuesday handed over the Santapur Model Integrated Settlement to flood victims of Chandrapur Municipality in Rautahat. The settlement was built by the Dhurmus-Suntali Foundation for 47 Musahar families who were displaced by the floods. This was the fourth such project by the Dhurmus-Suntali Foundation. Dhurmus and Suntali are names of the characters Sitaram Kattel and Kunjana Ghimire play in a TV serial. After the 2015 earthquake, they decided to extend their hand to help people affected by the disaster. An integrated settlement of 67 houses in Giranchaur of Sindhupalchowk district was their first project, which was handed over to quake survivors in October 2016.
Their foundation then built a similar settlement in Kavre district, also for the quake victims. It then built houses for flood victims in Mahottari and Rautahat. This couple’s unflinching determination to ensure roofs over heads of the needy certainly calls for applause. Dhurmus and Suntali who in their comical roles on the telly used to tickle the viewers’ funny bones are doing a wonderful job to bring smiles to the faces of the needy. Kudos!