It is a slow yet a steady progress. Since Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal assumed the top executive responsibility with two ministers appointed, the days for a full-fledged cabinet to materialize have been painstakingly gradual, but not lost. The maze is glaring all because of the 22 political parties that back the UML-led government, each has its own set of ideas as what constitute the tasks ahead.
Despite looking at a daunting task, the coalition partners have proved that they have got to a meeting point through the Common Minimum Programme (CMP). The CMP had been the barrier for the expansion of the cabinet. With the go-ahead signal coming through the stakeholders inking the CMP, the floodgates have opened for the induction of nominees of the concerned parties into the Council of Ministers. It is as if a milestone has been reached, with the landmark backing of the 22 parties for Nepal to become the prime minister, after the resignation of Pushpa Kamal Dahal from his top executive post citing
inhospitable environment for him to function in the so-called efficient and effective manner. Whatever that maybe, he had to make way for a new man at the head of the government.
The delay has been noticeable in giving the final shape to the cabinet, all because of the agreement on CMP coming just on Wednesday. The usual issues have been raised with
focus on the state restructuring, getting the peace process to its destination, strengthening the law and order situation, slapping down on corruption, to get the local bodies manned till their elections, economic reforms and relief, according highest status to the Constituent Assembly to decide on the past agreements with various parties and groups, among others. On reflection, the CMP was not an easy task to formulate and be accepted by the parties of various hues. But, how far the accepted modus operandi will be put into action is a matter for future perusal. The CMP can be assumed to the basis for the signatories to work together in achieving the goals that this government has to achieve in the volatile situation that is prevailing. An observation to this effect can be gleaned with the UCPN-Maoist initiating its protest mission the very day the CMP was inked. It is also worth noting that the single largest party that UCPN-Maoist is in the CA, it will not be a smooth passage for the new government in the days ahead when a number of challenges are lined up.
As for the post-CMP scenario, the participating parties are seeing tussles within as to who would be selected to be the representatives in the government. This particular feature has laid bare the greed for power that convincingly portrays our political culture. All seem to be bent on being allocated “powerful ministries” instead of how they would be helpful in realizing the aspirations of the people regarding the logical end to the peace process and the drafting of the constitution for which time is running out. If this is how major events move, it can well be imagined that it would be difficult for the Nepal-led government to meet the deadline. Maybe PM Nepal knows what he wants, and how to achieve it in earnest.