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Ensuring Voting Rights of Nepali People

Ensuring Voting Rights of Nepali People

By Chiranjibi B.

Nepal had completed all the security preparations and had left no stone unturned to ensure the voting rights of the people in the upcoming municipal polls. This assurance is of great significance as the people in all the municipalities across the country are eagerly awaiting the day they will be able to exercise their democratic right to choose their representatives. The eagerness is anticipated as it has been three years since the municipalities have been without people’s representatives. And now the opportunity has finally come. Nepal would not hesitate to take legal action if the people are deprived of their voting rights by raising the issue of boycotting the election. This is an indication that the government is serious and committed to holding the polls in a fair, free and impartial manner in order to get the democratic process moving in the right direction. The government was ready to hold dialogue with the seven political party alliance to resolve any problem they are facing. This shows that the government is open to any form of dialogue with the agitating parties. The sincerity of the government to resolve issues of national importance is plain, and it is up to the seven party alliance to respond to the call and exhibit their true democratic colours. He also urged the seven party alliance to take part in the election and give up the talk of boycotting it. That would necessarily be adhering to the democratic values.

The seven parties were interested in fulfilling their own vested interests rather than that of the people and the country. This is a valid point as the aberrations began surfacing after 1990 when the political parties formed successive governments but did not work as per the aspirations of the people but rather engaged in fulfilling their own selfish interests. It seems the political parties still have not realised their follies and are bent on committing one mistake after another. Whatever that may be, the people can separate the white from the black through the election which the political parties concerned are afraid to face fearing rejection. But, if they call themselves true democrats, it is the right time for them to take part in the election and face the people.

The political parties have deviated from their ideology and stance by forging an alliance with the terrorists. It was politically suicidal for the political parties to enter into an alliance with those whom the parties themselves had once declared terrorists. The Nepali Congress government had declared the Maoists as terrorists and put a bounty on the head of some Maoist leaders. The Royal Nepalese Army was mobilised against the terrorists as per the recommendation of the government led by Sher Bahadur Deuba, who was Prime Minister and leader of the Nepali Congress parliamentary party. Other parties, including the CPN-UML, also had tacit support for the mobilisation of the army against the terrorists. However, the same parties have forged an alliance with the terrorists, which is a big irony in Nepali politics. The Maoists are terrorists, who have killed more than 12,000 people and caused the displacement of tens of thousands more. The acts of the Maoists are blatant violations of human rights.

Thus, the terrorists must be punished as per national as well as international laws for committing crimes against humanity. The government has made its position clear in that it will not hold any dialogue with the terrorists unless they renounce violence and lay down arms. The law of the land also prohibits any kind of association and link with the terrorists. According to the law, individuals and groups that have direct or indirect relationship with terrorists should be treated as such. Thus, the activities and remarks of the seven political parties and their leaders are against the spirit of the constitution and the laws, making their activities both irresponsible and unconstitutional. These parties are talking loud about democracy, but their activities show otherwise.

Moreover, the government has been working for the election whereas the political parties are against it. These parties want the elections to take place only when they are in power. This is their undemocratic attitude. This is a testimony that these parties do not believe in democracy and the people but want to grab power by manipulating the electoral process. Thus, people need to be alert against the sinister move of the parties that is taking place in the name of democracy. If the seven parties do not correct their mistake, it will be a disaster for them in the long run.


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