Politics: Power Game

With the demand fora national consensus government, the game to replace the present government has kicked off

May 22, 2015, 5:45 p.m. Published in Magazine Issue: Vol: 08 No. -22 May 22- 2015 (Jestha 08, 2072)

Although leading politicians are demanding a national consensus government to replace the present one, they have also endorsed all the agenda as proposed by Prime Minister Sushil Koirala.

At a time when all his opponents are demanding his resignation, political parties have supportedprime minister Koirala’s move to form the Prime Minister’s Relief Fund to control all the money through one window.

Not only leaders of political parties, even the so-called civil society leaders, with die hard supporters of pluralism, are backing a draconian one-window policy. Koirala government’s recent moves in handling foreign relations has backfired Nepal’s own interest.

However, all political parties stood behind Prime Minister Koirala. For all, from Maoist radicals to liberal and rightist Kamal Thapa, Prime Minister Koirala seems to be an icon.

Leading the government without any major challenges for 16 months, Prime Minister Sushil Koirala saw the major earthquakes of last one month shaking his position as well.

With the demand of leaders of his own party, opposition party and coalition partners for national consensus government, Prime Minister Koirala is faced with major challenges for the first time in the power.

Although Prime Minister Koirala’s government failed to meet any promises, including the pledge to promulgate the new constitution by January 15, nothing had shaken his position as much before as now.

Prime Minister Koirala is the first person in the last ten years to rule the country for almost 16 months without any major political challenge. However, the earthquake of April 25 and May 12 not only shook the country but also the chair of Prime Minister Koirala.

“This is a major challenge before for the country. We need to have a national consensus government to carry out this mammoth task,” said former prime minister and Nepali Congress leader Sher Bahadur Deuba. “There is a need to go fora mammoth task with an all-party national consensus government.”

Nepali Congress leader Deuba is not alone in that line of interest. UCPN-Maoist leaders and former prime ministers Dr. Baburam Bhattarai, Pushpa Kamal Dahal and CPN-UML leaders K.P. Sharma Oli, Jhalnath Khanal and Madhav Kumar Nepal, and Madheshi leader Bijaya Kumar Gachchhadar also have raised similar voices to form a national consensus government.

Even prime minister Sushil Koirala has favored a national consensus government under his own relations. “I have been saying this for quite a long time. I would like to invite the leaders of major parties to join the government,” said prime minister Koirala. “This government was formed to promulgate the new constitution to build the new nation. I am committed to this.”

Although prime minister Koirala wants to play the political game in his favor by throwing his own version, CPN-UML and UCPN-Maoist leaders have held a few internal meetings to replace prime minister Koirala.

MJF leader Bijaya Kumar Gachchhadar even declared that there will be a new national consensus government within a few days. “Political parties are closer to a national consensus government. We will reach some sort of agreement within a few days,” said Gachchhadar.

However, there is no major political move appearing beneath prime minister Koirala’s carpet.  The death of former prime minister Madhav Kumar Nepal’s father is likely to defer the move for a few more days.

CPN-UM leader and former prime minister Nepal are leading the move to replace Koirala. He even organized several meetings with UCPN-Maoist leaders to choose a new government. Nothing has materialized as yet.

Given the present political scenario, prime minister Koirala seems to have no alternatives. Although many dislike his political style, Koirala has a strong backing from Nepal’s neighbors for taking their care in containing the west.

As long as prime minister Koirala’s recent stand continues, nothing can threaten his position. Those who watch him closely know the limitation of prime minister Koirala and know that Koirala is easy to maneuver in the present context. This is his strength to continue in power.

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