Siddhi B. Ranjitkar: Obstacles to Republic
Obstacles to Republic
By Siddhi B. Ranjitkar
Nepalis have overwhelmingly voted for republicans in the election for a Constituent Assembly (CA) held on April 10, 2008 defeating all monarchist candidates clearly indicating the choice of Nepalis for making Nepal a republic. However, the recent political developments have indicated that certain regressive forces have been active to postpone the making of Nepal a republic.
According to the Nepalese media, on May 13, 2008, the suspended king sent a message to the political leaders pleading them for postponing the endorsement of republic by the first sitting of the CA until the completion of crafting a new constitution; the king also warned of possible disastrous results of not doing so. The suspended king attempts to fool Nepalis with his old trick again.
Now, the question is how the suspended king dares to send such a message and give warning of a disaster if the political leaders do not do as he has pleaded for. Desiring to stay on as a suspended king, he is certainly going against the people’s wishes for making Nepal a republic. There must be some political forces that have been encouraging the king to come out openly to retain his position as a king.
The Nepali Congress (NC) and the Communist Party of Nepal-Unified Marxist and Leninist (CPN-UML) did not receive the people’s mandate in the election for a CA held on April 10, 2008, as they anticipated. They clearly see that the people’s mandate has gone to the Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist (CPN-Maoist) to lead an all 25-party government to be formed after the election for a CA.
Leaders of these two political parties: NC and CPN-UML could not stand on the people’s support but they want to remain in power. So, they turned to the suspended king to offset the emerging people’s power. These leaders must have drafted the message the suspended king has dared to send it to the political leaders. In other words, the king must have done so in cooperation with the leaders of these two political parties in question.
The king is most probably standing on the shoulders of the defeated leaders of the NC and CPN-UML to claim for his lost crown. Leaders of the NC and CPN-UML receiving almost a half of the total votes cast in the election for a CA are poised to betray those voters. The voters have opted for a change, for making Nepal a republic, for inclusive governance certainly for not keeping the king that has enjoyed exclusive administration for serving the interest of the tiny group of his sycophants.
In the recent past, daughter of the current Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala and Central Member of the NC Sujata Koirala had once said that she had been supporting the suspended king to counter the emerging power of the CPN-Maoist. It is clear that some political leaders particularly some leaders of the NC and CPN-UML are for saving the king even going against the aspirations of the Nepalese people for true democracy and making Nepal a republic.
Clearly, Nepalis have rejected the corrupt leaders of all political parties defeating them in the election for a CA. So, leaders such as Madhav Kumar Nepal, Khadga Prasad Oli and Bamdev Gautam of the CPN-UML, and entire corrupt leaders of the NC have suffered defeat in the election. If the current Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala had chosen to contest the direct election he would have faced the same fate as of Madhav Kumar Nepal losing the election in all constituencies he had contested for the representation in the CA.
These leaders of the NC and CPN-UML rejected by the Nepalese people in the CA election have been making various terms and conditions for forming a new government rather than forming guidelines and principles following the people’s mandate for forming a consensus government, and then crafting a new constitution. Going against the Nepalese people’s aspirations for making Nepal a republic and drastic changes in the social, political and economic structures they just want to prolong the status quo anticipating to remain in power. They even apparently are turning to the king for retaining their power despite the rejection of the Nepalese people in the election for a CA.
The so-called Democratic Party and guardian of democracy NC not following the Nepalese people’s mandate even violated the values and ideals of democracy. Nepalis want all representatives of 25 political parties in the CA to forming a new coalition government and then crafting a new constitution. Contrary to this aspiration of Nepalis, the two major parties: NC and CPN-UML have been putting forward obstacles to forming a new government and crafting a new constitution setting various conditions for joining or forming a new government.
If the NC is really a democratic party, then current Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala needs to tender his resignation to the Speaker of the Interim Legislature-parliament following the decision of the Nepalese people on transferring the power from the seven-party alliance to the 25-party alliance. However, Prime Minister Girija and his clique in cooperation with the defeated leaders of the CPN-UML have been sticking to power even after the clear verdict of the Nepalese people on transferring the power to the new emerging political parties. They have been creating political confusion bringing the suspended king to the forefront again, and trying to maintain status quo thus clearly going against the people’s aspiration for drastic changes in the governance.
In order to continue the current political status quo, the NC and CPN-UML leaders have been putting forward certain conditions for working together with the newly emerged political parties. For example, the NC and CPN-UML leaders have been demanding the surrender or destruction of the arms and ammunition possessed by the People’s Liberation Army as a condition for forming a new government. They forget that they have to do it forming a new coalition government of all 25 political parties in cooperation with the CPN-Maoist leaders not confronting with them. Another condition they put forward is to dissolve the Young Communist League (YCL) for forming a new government. Before putting forward such a condition, they need to think twice whether their demand is conforming to the values and norms of democracy or not. Obviously, these conditions or demands are nothing but the pretexts for creating political confusion and retaining status quo. Thus, the current behavior of the leaders of the NC and CPN-UML goes in favor of the suspended king and not much different from the regressive forces.
Current Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala and some leaders of CPN-UML leaders including Khadga Prasad Oli have been behaving as Surya Bahadur Thapa and Tulsi Giri in 1960. They betrayed their own political bosses and the Nepalese people in 1960. Currently, Prime Minister Koirala plus his circle of politicians and CPN-UML leaders are tending to repeat the same story.
Disregarding the people’s mandate given by the People’s Movement in1990, the NC and CPN-UML leaders fought against each other and then cooperated with the leaders of the corrupt regime called Panchayat for power, ultimately giving rise to the regressive forces and the absolute king and led the country to the political chaos needing to the People’s Movement in 2006.
Currently, the same leaders of these NC and CPN-UML parties have been trying to disregard the people’s mandate given in the election for a CA, and bringing back already dead monarchy to life again. The suspended king’s message to the political parties is the outcome of the misdeeds of the defeated leaders of these two political parties.
If the third people’s movement becomes imminent then Nepalese people would certainly sweep all those dirty politicians from the political arena. Commander of the People’s Movement in 1990, Ganeshman Singh had once said that after the success of the people’s movement the need was for sweeping the political dirt but unfortunately again due to the corrupt NC leaders he could not do it.
This time, Nepalese people would wash off all the political dirt from the Nepalese political arena. All corrupt politicians and the suspended king would be drained away if the corrupt leaders again tried to dishonor the people’s mandate and went against their aspirations for making Nepal a republic. Nepalis have been well aware of the political situation in the country and well conscious of what they needed to do in case the political leaders betrayed them again.