POLITICS Power Game

Leaders of major political parties have not shown any sincere interest to hold the elections any time soon

Jan. 21, 2017, 5:45 p.m. Published in Magazine Issue: Vol 10. No. 11,January. 20,, 2017 Magh 07,2073)

Although leaders of three major political parties have been harping on the need to hold the elections, their actions show something else. As the country is facing a major political chaos, prime minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal, who is supposed to take a decision, went to pay a four-day state visit to the United Arab Emirates.

In the absence of Prime Minister Dahal, major political events, the constitution amendment bill, fate of seven elections related bills and the final negotiations with Samyukta Lokatantrick Madheshi Morcha, have remained stalled for a week.

As Prime Minister Dahal is out of the country, Nepali Congress leader Sher Bahadur Deuba, who can move the things, is also out of the capital, travelling to the district headquarters.

As leaders of ruling parties are out of the scene, main opposition party CPN-UML is busy in its homework to launch nationwide campaigns, focusing on how to expand its political base in Terai.

Samyukta Madheshi Loktantrick Morcha, which should press the government for constitution amendment bill and elections, is also busy in other agenda, as the Morcha has already made it clear that they want elections for provinces and center, not local bodies.

As local bodies restructuring committee headed by Balananda Paudel has already handed over its report, with the borders and numbers of new local structures, the cabinet is yet to own the report and make a decision about its implementation. As the report was prepared on such a sensitive issue like changing the border without intense consultations, it will be bound to bring chaos, once the government decides to implement it. Madheshi Morcha has already announced to protest against it.

With just months with it, the government is yet to table seven bills required to hold the elections for local bodies, provinces and central parliament before March 2018.

As per the constitution, there is the need to hold the elections for the three tiers of government before March 2018 and end the current transition. However, the political situation is not as easy as it looks. Within the coalition, the differences are growing. Nepali Congress leader Deuba is counting days to form the government under his leadership in May when Prime Minister Prachanda completes his nine months' tenure.

For personal benefit and to retain power, Prime Minister Prachanda intends to prolong the political crisis, as he knows he has to hand over the baton of power to Deuba in case he holds the election of local bodies in April or May.

CPN-UML is also waiting for the opportune time to break the coalition as former Prime Minister Oli can take revenge with Nepali Congress and Maoist Center – which had pulled down his government.

If the current trend involving the three major political parties is indication, it shows that nobody wants to face the elections any time soon. For the leaders of three major political parties, power politics will give more immediate results than contesting the elections, which will be unpredictable and risky for them.

Keshab Poudel

Keshab Poudel

Poudel is the editor of New Spotlight Magazine.

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