UCPN-Maoist and CPN-UML have already formed the government. This is the turn of Nepali Congress to form the government. I think only Nepali Congress government can settle the peace process and promulgate the new constitution. Instead of stressing for their own candidate, UCPN-Maoist must support Nepali Congress.
Three years’ long experiences have already shown that no political parties can promulgate the new constitution and bring the peace process to a logical end alone. As the only democratic party with international acceptance, our party can complete the two tasks: constitution writing and logical conclusion of the peace process.
Maoists have already betrayed several times in the past three years that they will abide by agreements and bring the peace process to the logical end. On their insistence, we even supported their government in 2008. However, the government fell because of their mishandling of Nepal Army. They were again given the opportunity to be a part of the coalition government led by CPN-UML leader Jhala Nath Khanal but they have not shown any interest to bring the constitution and complete the peace process. Had they followed the five-point agreement in words and deeds, the situation would have been much different now. However, they did not abide by it. In three months, their representatives held only a couple of meetings of integration committee. Now they are saying that they will announce package for integration and peace process. After reaching the power, Maoists will again follow the course they have been taking since last many years. We signed the peace agreement in 2007 with Maoists, but they have not supported the move to make any tangible progress in the peace process. This is the reason Nepali Congress should be given to lead the next national consensus government.
So far as our party’s issue is concerned, we will settle it through our own political mechanism and institutional process. Maoists cannot make us fool all the time saying that they will complete the peace process given an opportunity to them to form the government. For political consensus, it is Nepali Congress which can play an important role. Historically, whenever there has been a crisis, Nepali Congress proved its presence mattered. This time too all the political parties should support Nepali Congress to form the next government.
As UCPN-Maoist has betrayed several times in the past, nobody believes its commitments. They always bring good programs whenever there is a possibility to form the government but they give up on it once the task completes. This is the bitter experience.
Coming days are going to be very crucial in the history of Nepal. We have got to complete two tasks. First of all, we have to decide on the formation of the new government. The second task will be the concrete programs for the integration process and promulgation of new constitution. In the past three years, we have focused our effort on power politics.
All the present political problems are the results of failure of UCPN-Maoist and CPN-UML to make certain agreements. Had these parties started to work on the basis of consensus from the beginning, the situation would have been different. Being the largest party, UCPN-Maoist has to play an important role in bringing the national consensus. Following the resignation of prime minister Jhala Nath Khanal, there is again a good opportunity to form a consensus government.
Whether in the making of new Nepal or new constitution, there is the need to forge a national consensus and Nepali Congress has leaders with such a capability. We have experimented all kinds of government in the last three years but we have been unable to bring a political stability as well as promulgate new constitution. We even failed to complete our main task of bringing the peace process to a logical end. This is the reason we are pushing for a national consensus government.
The country has already wasted a lot of time in power games and shifting alliances. We need to focus on the promulgation of the new constitution and conclude the peace process. As the extended tenure of the Constituent Assembly is going to expire on August 31, political parties must come together with concrete programs for the extension. If there are concrete programs, we can consider extension of the tenure of CA for another few more months.
Our party will try to form the national consensus government now. If it is impossible, we will try for a majority government. Following the elections of CA, we have set up all three kinds but it is unfortunate that none of them was able to complete the major task of writing the new constitution and concluding the peace process.
As told to New Spotlight. Shrestha is a leader of Nepali Congress