CORRUPTION Slogans Against Political System

Slogans against corruption often tend to destabilize the political process<br><P>KESHAB POUDEL</P>

Aug. 9, 2011, 5:45 p.m. Published in Magazine Issue: Vol.: 05 No.-4 Aug. 05-2011 (Shrawan 20,2068)<BR>

A group of youth and members led by Nepal’s two prominent public figures Madan Krishna Shrestha and Hari Bansha Acharya handed over a memorandum to secretary of the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority demanding stern action against the corrupt people.

The movement led by two public figures and other civil society members received nationwide support. Naturally, corruption is an evil of the society and it needs to be rooted out.

As Nepal has adequate laws to curb corruption and a super body like the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority to deal with it, political corruption continues to rise. Even the Public Accounts Committee of the Legislature Parliament has been working to stop irregularities and corruption.

Given the last three decades of experiences in Nepal, the populist slogans of corruption always shake the political system.  In 1990, one of the main charges against the Panchayat system was corruption though there was more powerful constitutional body than the present CIAA.

Populist leaders chanted slogans against corruption bringing a face Pampha Devi to project the symbol of corruption. Panchayat collapsed and a new era of multi-party democracy ushered with the liberal democracy. However, the euphoria of democracy did not last long.

Nepal’s civil society members even hailed the violent Maoist movement as a result of scandal and corruption.  The government introduced stunt act in 2001 making CIAA a body with sweeping powers. CIAA arrested many politicians and government officials on the charges of corruption.

Nepal Green Party led by Kuber Sharma led the crusade against corruption and other many civil society organizations joined with them. A high level property commission was set up to check the property of the public officials. Finally, this round of anti-corruption drive ended in 2002 following the dissolution of House of Representatives.

King Gyandera came to the scene with the slogan against corruption following his tussle with late Girija Prasad Koirala who was given a clean chit after Janandolan II in 2006 by no other than CIAA chief Suryanath Upadhyaya.

Maoists and the seven party alliance used all kinds of corruption charges against King. Finally, Maoist, civil society and seven party alliance overthrew the 1990 constitution as well as monarchy. Now political parties are breaking all records in corruption and irregularities and Sudan scam has created a panic.

There are widespread accusations of corruption everywhere from member of legislature to ministers, political workers to government officials. It is yet to be seen what the simmering wave against corruption will do to the Interim constitution, or Constituent Assembly.

As long as the country has aweak institutional mechanism, every drive against corruption will destabilize the political system and constitutional process.   Although organizers of new move declared that they will continue to fight against corruption, it is unclear where this campaign will end.


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