It is no big surprise as days pass by that Nepalis are getting bored and frustrated with the murky politics in the country. While being very committed to democratic ideals and having strong faith in democratic process for faster development, better livelihood and overall quality of life, Nepalis are lately wondering as to how the nation could be extricated from hypocrisy, untrustworthiness and incapability of current leaders and establish a stable political setup for lasting peace and development.
At the moment, the most disappointing aspect of Nepali politics is the absence of a definite roadmap for stable transition to democracy, appropriate statesmanship and prevalence of rule of law and a vision for crafting pragmatic strategies for a modern and progressive nation. After the lapses of the two dates for the CA election the self- professed representatives have not yet been able to fix a new date.
More than a year and half have passed since the success of Jana Andolan II and a full year after the signing of the historic Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) between the Seven Party Alliance (SPA) and the Maoists. Following these developments people were hopeful that the nation would be peaceful and violence would finally come to an end.
However, there is growing fear that the nation may again be gripped by violence and insecurity. Nepalisâ€™ aspiration for peace and stability with inclusive space for all ethnic and downtrodden communities is turning into unfulfilled dreams. People seem to be tired of listening to the self-motivated political rhetoric about the unity of SPA and their useless analysis for electoral process, particularly at a time when the modality and arrangements for the electoral process had already been finalised.
The media is waiting that some meaningful outcome may evolve out of the meetings of political leaders. People want their legitimate representatives, chosen through election, to make crucial political decisions for them. While Nepalis are facing the threat of the resurgence of age-old feudal system, they are faced with the danger of the emergence of extreme left politico-economic philosophy. Treading a middlepath with people-based
democratic political approach through the CA election is the basic requirement for achieving peopleâ€™s desire for peace, security and development.
While the majority of people are in favour of declaring Nepal a Republic through constitutional and appropriate legal provisions, most of them are unaware about the â€˜full proportionalâ€™ system (PR) of election, leave alone its suitability in the context of Nepal. The political parties demanding full PR system of election have neither bothered to explain the meaning of full PR nor have they made any attempt to solicit any opinion on it. Thus the nation has been unable
to resolve the political deadlock among parties on critical issues of declaration of republic and electoral process.
While this has deprived people of their inalienable right to elect their true representatives, this has also sabotaged opportunities for economic and social growth. Nepalis are facing a shortage of basic commodities like petroleum and cooking fuel and law and order is worsening. Businesses and industries are constantly threatened and forced to close down. Even garbage and household waste are not collected and disposed of on regular basis.
No nation should remain in a state of transition for long and be governed by those whose legitimacy remains in question. Everyone is convinced that the multi-party democratic system has to prevail and the resurgence of one man rule will be unacceptable. The political parties cannot deny Nepalis their right to exercise their votes and elect their representatives. So the big question is: What is the way out? It is about time that the elite groups and professional organisations within the country take aggressive initiatives to sensitise, encourage and empower citizens to be able to exercise their fundamental right to vote through election at the earliest.
In this respect various Civil Society organisations (CSOs) are trying to exert pressure on political parties. But their efforts have so far been rather weak and uncoordinated. It is most urgent and desirable that such efforts made by CSOs be fully supported by joint effort of other professional associations and academia.
The student groups whose future is dependent on the quick resolution of the present stalemate and election to Constituent Assembly, should also force the parties to hold the election. Unless political resolution is achieved quickly, other matters in the areas of socio-economic field will remain unattended. The political parties must realise that the people are the ultimate decision-makers and so should be respected as such.
Dr. Dhungana is an economist