Nepal: President in Politics


Nov. 21, 2012, 5:45 p.m. Published in Magazine Issue: Vol. : 06 No.-10 Nov. 09-2012 (Kartik 24, 2069)

Although prime minister Babruam Bhattarai has  averted a political crisis by brining the new budget for fiscal year 2012/13 and announced a new election date, it is unlikely to overcome the political crisis the country is going to face in coming days. As main opposition parties have already announced agitation program questioning the legitimacy of the government, Nepal’s political scenario will likely to enter a new crisis period. Given the present political scenario, it is unlikely that Nepal will hold the new elections in April 2013.

Whether he likes it or not, president Dr. Ram Baran Yadav’s intense involvement in politics seems to be inevitable. His first announcemnet for new prime minister likely to create more political chaos.  Although the Interim Constitution has given him a very limited role in the process of changing the government, president Dr. Yadav, who averted the confrontation with government last time, may have to face same problems in April 2013.



Seven years after the completion of the successful Janandloan, nothing has materialized in the new federal, republic and secular Nepal. Political leaders are again calling Nepalese to support agitation to prevent rise of authoritarian regime under the current prime minister Dr. Baburam Bhattarai. Opposition political parties including Nepali Congress, and CPN-UML are suspicious of a totalitarian regime under the disguise of Maoist government. This indicated that political instability continues and miseries of poor people also. Maoist's combatants have been integrated into the Nepal Army and Maoists have joined the political mainstream, but peace and political stability is still elusive. In front of large number of security personal, a common man slapped Maoist leader Prachanda, who was regarded as a strong man of Nepal.  As in the past, the Nepalese agenda is still the writing of the constitution preventing the country heading to authoritarianism. Even the resignation of prime minister Baburam Bhattarai, it is unlikely to see any change in the nature of politics.


When they announced Janandlolan II in April, 2006, Nepalese political leaders and civil society leaders promised Nepalese people that this would be the last agitation they had to face and people would not face an authoritarian regime after the success of movement. Abolition of the monarchy would end the political instability and possibility of rise of any totalitarian regime. After the completion of constitution writing through the Constituent Assembly, there would be green lights everywhere. Political leaders claimed that the success of Janandolan II would bring economic prosperity, peace, inclusive state development and high economic progress. However, nothing moves. 



Judiciary in Crisis


Generally, Judiciary remains untouched in the past but it is also facing crisis this time. As the country has been passing through the prolonged political crisis, Nepal's judiciary system will inevitably encounter a new situation. If things remain the same, a large number of temporary judges in the Supreme Court will retire before February. In the absence of a parliamentary hearing, the temporary justice system of the Supreme Court will face disbandment.  According to the Interim Constitution, there requires a hearing for the appointment of Supreme Court judges.


As political parties are yet to overcome the political stalemate, an economic and development agenda are nobody’s concern. At a time when all the countries around the world are pushing economic progress as a priority, Nepal’s political leaders still indulges in the never ending political and constitutional dispute. From state restructuring to the forming of government and the nature of political system, Nepal has many political challenges which will likely push the country into further prolonged political instability. The existing political scenario has shown that nothing can solve Nepal's political impasse. Whether there is a full budget or half budget, Nepal's prolong political instability will likely to affect all walk of life in Nepal.


World Toilet Day

At a time when Nepal is celebrating World Toilet Day, over forty percent of Nepal's population does not have toilet and open defecation is common in large areas causing major health problems. Stunting is a common problem among large number of children. Given the bleak scenario, Nepal is yet to announce new programs and projects to overcome social, health and development related issues. The progress made by Nepal in MDGs is now under a question mark.  Although Nepal has several national and international agenda to settle in the coming days, internal political dispute is dominating them. Nepal is to prepare the strategy of how to present Nepal in the coming COP going to be held in Doha. What is Nepal's stand on adaptation, mitigation, funding and technologies? As Nepal is chair of the LDC group, the role and responsibility is much higher than the previous meetings. Nepal needs to coordinate 45 members of the LDC.


Economic Agenda


Instead of bringing full budget with the charting course for economic stability, economic progress and high growth, Nepal’s tragedy is that it has to rely on the quarterly budget.  The agenda of economic progress and economic development is nowhere. The Finance Ministry is under the hand of a rebel leader with no economic knowledge.  The finance secretary and other recently transferred joint secretaries too know little of the economic trend.  As all issues relating to the national government and power sharing has not been settled, important decisions will continue to be held hostage to political in-fighting, with negative implications for stability. It is almost sure that the situation is unlikely to improve substantially in the near future. Due to prolonged political instability and political differences over the new budget, the Nepalese economy has already suffered. Higher economic growth will become possible only if political instability is reduced. Nepal's donors are also in a dilemma. The government’s recent moves to contain the activities of INGOs and NGOs will badly affect the development works.  The government has already indicated that it will bring new approach to contain the INGOs and NGOs involvement in development.
 Nepal's economy grew at a good pace in the fiscal year despite the ongoing political crisis. If political disputes continue, it will ultimately affect the growth pattern and progress. Power cuts will likely continue for another decade to come and this will have direct impact on Nepal's overall economic progress.  In case of failure to bring new budget and settle the political crisis, the development projects run by Nepal’s development partners will suffer. Lack of matching funds will affect implementation and political instability and possible confrontation are likely to reduce the mobility. As the new government lacks mandate, the execution of new projects will likely be delayed. Due to political instability, it will increase the political interference in bureaucracy.  Whoever may come, political instability will likely to continue for some time to come.




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