Desperate from and tired of listening to the pledges and words of political leaders, president Dr. Ram Baran Yadav finally lashed out at the leaders of political parties who failed to find any solution even after holding several rounds of bilateral and multi-lateral discussions among themselves.
Even four months after the announcement of the elections, political parties are yet to decide whether to go for fresh elections or revive the Constituent Assembly. A group of over 200 former CA members even organized a meeting to lobby for the CA revival. Changing stands one after another, political leaders are making the situation full of confusion and uncertainty. Finally, president Dr. Yadav has opened his mouth.
“Political parties need to reach a ´package deal´ on all issues, including the formation of a new all-party government, declaration of the election date, modality of election and the appointment of heads in different constitutional bodies to resolve the long-standing political impasse,” he said.
Asserting his constitutional role and hinting at the possibility that he could intervene in the political process, president Dr. Yadav said, “The Interim Constitution has stated that there will be a president, whose prime duty would be to safeguard the constitution. Abide by the constitution. What does it mean to safeguard the constitution now? I should burn incense sticks and pray on the book or safeguard the country,” he asked.
Whatever the warning the president issues, it is not going to make any difference in the current political scenario. As prime minister Dr. Baburam Bhattarai and UCPN-Maoist leader Prachanda know the constitutional and political limits of the president, they have ignored president Dr. Yadav’s plea.
“I am not going to resign without the formation of an all-party government. I know the president too is aware about his constitutional role and obligation,” said prime minister Dr. Baburam Bhattarai, addressing a press conference.
By taking two controversial decisions, namely, promoting Col Raju Basnet and Nepal Police chief despite opposition from the international and national human rights groups, prime minister Dr. Baburam Bhattarai is cultivating two important constituencies of the state. In case of a power tussle with the president, the army and police forces are going to be major factors in what happens next. Nepal’s neighbor India and even western countries, including the US, despite their unlinking of present government’s certain decisions, including to promote the two accused human rights offenders, bet on Dr. Bhattarai.
At a time when two main opposition parties, Nepali Congress and CPN-UML, are internally bitterly divided on political agenda and selecting the unanimous candidate for prime minister, Dr. Bhattarai doesn’t see any challenger for him.
After desertion by the Janjati leaders, CPN-UML has lost certain strength and the revolt by former members of CA against the party’s decision to go for fresh poll has further weakned its base. Nepali Congress leaders are bitterly divided on the questions of next government leadership and the revival of CA. Demand of Congress leader Sujata Koirala to join the current government has created more confusion.
It is almost certain that Nepal’s prolonged political instability will continue for some more time to come.