The only way

The nation, it seems, is headed towards electoral politics even if the Maoist insurgency remains unresolved. The indication to this effect has come from the constitutional monarch who, last Friday said, “necessary preparations have already been initiated to hold these elections and activate, in stages, all elected bodies which have suffered a setback during the past three years.” Of course, the repeated bids to hold the parliamentary elections have not borne fruits in the past. And given the fewer choices the country has at its disposal, maybe the only option is to go all-out for elections to the municipal bodies. Clearly, the municipal elections are not the end. Similar exercises to elect a fresh parliament have to follow in the subsequent phase because they alone can restore the derailed constitutional and political process. The fact that all the legitimate constitutional forces will have to agree on the elections is beyond dispute. But the position being taken by the seven-party alliance on the issue of municipal and then the village and district vote before the final national poll for parliament is sure to delay the progress towards democratic normalcy in the country. The political parties are opposed to the idea of polls of any kind on grounds of security. This

came loud and clear on Sunday from a number of speakers at an interaction session sponsored by Nepal Chapter of Association of World Citizen. Inter alia, the speakers representing constituents of the seven-party alliance raised the bogey of insurgency almost everywhere arguing that the insecure environment cancels the prospect of electoral

politics at the present time. This begs a question as to how long should the nation wait before there is any serious attempt to hold any kind of elections — to ascertain the true nature of the popular will. Meanwhile, the issue of who actually enjoys the popular support and thereby is fit to rule has to be determined. Elections are the only means to clinch the issue of who governs with the consent of the governed. Longer the delay to the polls, the longer will it take to get back on track. Postponing or cancelling elections indefinitely on this or that pretext will stagger the process of getting back to democracy.