TOPICS: Why the Lower House should be restored

Jiba Raj Pokharel:

A movement against regression by the coalition of four parties led by the Nepali Congress (NC) has continued in the country since that infamous royal coup of October 4, 2002. The parties of the present coalition seem to be playing an ostrich the way they do not see regression in the country. Like the Emperor’s comrades in arms of that famous story entitled The Emperor’s New Clothes do not see the Emperor nude, these political forces do not see regression. But even a child knows that the country is under the spell of regression as does the child make a breakthrough in that story by announcing the nudity of the emperor.

Truth alone triumphs. One can lie to one person all the time or even lie all the persons one time but cannot lie to all the persons all the time. This has come to be true with the parties in the coalition in general and the CPN-UML in particular. The CPN-UML is facing pressure from the cadres for backing a regressive government. It was against the restoration of the parliament in the beginning but later softened its stance. Now it has come to the stage of demanding the restoration of the parliament. Better late than never. Wisdom has dawned on the CPN-UML.

It has been habitual for the leftist and the extreme rightist forces in Nepal to oppose the inevitability in the beginning and later submit to it. They were against the restoration of the multiparty polity after the Panchayat system was imposed in 1960 to such an extent that a section of the leftist forces even went to vote for the Panchayat system in the referendum conducted to choose between the Panchayat polity with reforms and the multiparty polity. Later on, all of them supported the NC in the 1990 People’s Movement. The NC was a solitary reaper demanding the restoration of the multiparty polity but it fell on deaf ears.

There has been a replay of a similar incident now. The NC has declared the launching of regression in the country since the royal coup. It has been insisting on restoration of the parliament. But the leftist and the rightist forces have been disregarding it. But it appears that they are going to finally yield to this reality.

The parliament should be restored, as it alone will have the capacity to resolve the problems. Even if the country goes to the polls, the parliament should decide it because the present government does not have the authority to conduct the polls. Once the parliament is restored, it can amend the Constitution towards even conducting an election to the constituent assembly. It can also make a provision for the conduct of the referendum if necessary to decide whether the constitution should be amended by the amendment proposal of the national parties or by the election to the constituent assembly. Pre-positioning of the parliament is thus the panacea of all the political problems as it addresses the solutions forwarded by the different political actors. It can respond to the polls as suggested by the palace and the Nepali Congress (D); it can enter into dialogue with the Maoists as suggested by the CPN-UML prior to the polls; it can conduct the election to the constituent assembly as proposed by the Maoists and, moreover, it can bring the Monarch to his true constitutional size as desired by the people.