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Nepal: Leadership Vacuum Continues

More than a month after the resignation of Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal, the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal is still without a leader. Four rounds of elections have failed to produce a clear winner, another round is scheduled for August 18th.

Madhav Kumar_Nepal

Madhav Kumar Nepal. Image by Flickr user izahorski, used under CC license BY-NC-ND

Animesh Roul at MacArthur Foundation's Asia Security Initiative blog says that the fifth round of elections is not expected to work out a breakthrough.

“There is no sight of either a consensus PM or PM elected by the simple majority unless the major parties forge a consensus, which is very unlikely at this moment.  As rightly pointed by Madhav Kumar Nepal, there is a bleak chance in the fifth round also as the differences between competing parties are still persisting. Unfortunately, each party is trying to become winner. Now, it seems the caretaker government will continue for some more time. At this moment only two political parties can bring some kind of respite to this political deadlock in Nepal: The Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist Leninist (CPN-UML) and the United Democratic Madhesi Front, an alliance of four Madhes based parties. Although Madhesi are willing to vote for Prachanda, they cannot do that because some external forces are influencing their decision against that. And the UML is adamant on its demand of forming a National Consensus Government. And most importantly, Maoists are also not serious about the government formation. It seems delay and political instability benefits them.”

The current environment of convoluted political deal making and ideology inspired selfishness among major political parties was further complicated when neighboring India sent its special enjoy Shyam Saran to Kathmandu.

Sharan, a former Indian Ambassador to Nepal, was widely criticized during his tenure for allegedly meddling in country's affairs and crossing the diplomatic line. Now that New Delhi has sent him to Kathmandu as “Mr. Fixit”, the Maoists and the right wing nationalists have found strong ammunition to block any proposal from the Nepali Congress and Communist Party (United Marxist and Leninist) – who are seen as favoring Sharan's visit.

Bloggers are also questioning whether India can send an envoy to discuss Nepal internal sensitive matter, without being invited. At Nepali language blog MySansar, Deepak says,

“शरण यसरी आउन मिल्छ कि मिल्दैन। धेरैले शरणलाई माओवादी र तत्कालिन सात दलबीचको भारतको राजधानी दिल्लीमा १२ बुँदे सहमति हुँदा सहजीकरण गरेका व्यक्ति भनी प्रचार गरेका छन्। त्रिभुवन विमानस्थलमा बुधबार अपराह्न उत्रिएलगत्तै भारतीय प्रधानमन्त्री मनमोहन सि‌हको विशेष दूत भएर आएको शरणले गर्वसाथ बताएका थिए। तर कुनै पनि देशको आन्तरिक मामिलामा त्यो देशले नबोलाईकन विदेशबाट विशेष दूत आउन मिल्ने हो कि होइन? भन्नेमा चर्चा हुन आवश्यक छ। यदी कसैले बोलाएको हो भने; कसले बोलाएको हो? उसले प्रष्ट पार्नुपर्यो। यदी होइन भने हाम्रा नेताहरुले हामी आँफै मिल्न सक्छौं तपाइको आवश्यकता छैन भनिदिए कति राम्रो हुन्थ्यो होला।”

“Can Sharan come to Nepal as an envoy? Many have credited Sharan for facilitating peace agreement between then Seven Party coalition government and the Maoists. After arriving in Kathmandu on Wednesday he proudly stated that he is Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's special envoy. But can a foreign government send an envoy to its neighbor to discuss internal matters, without being asked first? There needs to be a debate over this question. If someone invited Sharan, then who is it? That has to be explained. If not then our leaders should say that they can work on the matters themselves and Sharan's help is not needed.”
Gyanendra, ex King of Nepal. Image by Flickr user izahorski, used under CC license BY-NC-ND

Gyanendra, ex King of Nepal. Image by Flickr user izahorski, used under CC license BY-NC-ND

Royalists are also making hay of the situation and demanding that Monarchy should be reinstated to combat against Indian meddling and influence. Anil Bhakta Kharel at Hamro Blog says that it is time to reinstate the monarchy which at least tried to resist foreign influence:

“नेपालको सन्दर्भमा २४० वर्षदेखि शाहवंशले नेपालरुपी घर विग्रन–भत्कन दिएको थिएन। जस्तोसुकै अप्ठ्यारा परिस्थितिमा पनि आफ्नो स्वाभिमान बचाईराखेको थियो। राष्ट्रद्रोहीले भारतमा गएर नाकाबन्दी लगाउन लगाए पनि नेपाली जनतालाई जहाजमा तेल र खाद्यान्न पदार्थ ओसारेर खुवाएकै थिए। जनतासामु झुक्ने तर विदेशीको पाउ कहिल्यै नमोल्ने राजसंस्था जनतासामु झुक्यो। तर नेपाली जनताले त्यस्तो राजसंस्थालाई अझै चिन्न सकेका छैनन।”

“In Nepal's context, for 240 years the Shah dynasty did not allow Nepal to disintegrate. Even in difficult situations, the dynasty preserved national dignity. Even when anti-national elements made India close the borders, they brought food and oil for the people through the ships. The dynasty that never bowed down to foreign influence bowed down to the people. But the Nepalese people still have not recognized the true value of the institution.”

As the Maoist and royalists are using the current political crisis to further their agenda and gain mileage, Nepal's economy and law and order situation continues to slide down. Nepal's biggest holiday Dashin is just round the corner. Hopefully, the people will have something to celebrate by then.

5 comments

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  • Dirgha Raj Prasai

    Dear Bhumika Ghimire !
    Thanks-you have released the fact news-analysis about Nepalese politics.Due to the culprit political elements, the Nepalese nationality, royal institution and democracy is wounded, sovereignty is in peril. They took a decision to draft the constitution within two years by staging a drama of Constituent Assembly. They are set to deceive the people by extending the CA term acting upon their wish after failing to draft the new constitution in two years period. Three so called big three parties imposing autocratic regime to Nepal. To extend the time of CA is unconstitutional. But the Nepalese traitors who are in regime including the Nepalese Maoist have killed the theory of constitutionalism. To extend the term after failing to draft the constitution in the stipulated time is IMMENSE betrayal. The traitors (Congress, UMLs, and Maoists) are going to exercise in futility.

    Indian myopic policy of using Maoists in Nepal has played havoc in Nepal and also creating problems to India. Can Indian leaders and America & UN’s diplomats answer the result? I am sorry to write that it was a great blunder of Indian diplomats- Shyam Saran who is widely credited with bringing the present instability in Nepal and Sive Shankar Mukharejee, KB Rajan, Rakesh Sood and other officials who not only blundered in their assessment of Maoist but also did much harm to Indian’s interests in Nepal. Among the diplomats, Shyam Saran is a monsters who could not think on the result. Nepalese Maoists, RIM and COMPOSA have been joining the hands for one-party anarchist-Communist rule. Without analyzing the assumption, the Indian leaders supported the Nepalese Maoist’s hypocrisy. ‘Crows are never the white for washing.’ It is dangerous for India also.Then, why Indians culprit diplomants and leaders are going to exercise in futility.

    What were pitfalls of the Constitution of 1990? Why was it suspended
    without reason? What kind of new constitution they require? Without cause why India wanted the constituent assamply for Nepal. It is only to destroy the unity and democracy of Nepal.Can democracy be hoped for from the party that feeds an extremist group bearing arms? ‘Each cheat the other, each need the other’. The hierocratic leaders of the three so-called big parties who cheat each other and busy themselves meeting each other are like those businessmen that exchange horses in the midst of a river. Nepal’s situation corresponds to one party communist party’s authoritarian system. Until when should we witness these dramas? UNMIN is here to intensify civil war and after destroying the national identity wants to establish a Christian state. The current consequences are resulted with the failure to chase away UNMIN ad UN human rights activists in time. They are bent on violating the Nepalese mother by extending their term.

    The leaders of NC,UML and Maoist and the so-called 601 CA members-the transgender that have destroyed the nation-of after 2006 should be subjected to a minimum of 5 year ban from any political, social and economic transaction. We do not need transgender that have destroyed the nation. Nation cannot be allowed to be sold. Nepalese people will not let them go unpunished. It is a situation where patriots will submit their lives for the nation. I repeat that CA, cabinet and everything after 24 April 2006 have failed and should be abolished. An all sector cabinet should be formed in the presence of the king in accordance to 1990 Constitution. There are no other alternative.
    Thank you.
    Dirgha Raj Prasai
    Kathmandu,Nepal.

  • Party Peedit

    Thank you, Bhumika-ji, even though, I am sure you must be suffering, as I do, the difficult-to-express feeling that we might be talking to a brick wall. The mess in Nepal will not sort out, the medicine cannot be administered, until an honest diagnosis is admitted:
    a) the so-called Jana Andolan of 2005/06 was based on pulling a fast one by the SPAM, their handlers in Delhi, and the Western community that fell behind the colonizing agenda of the Indians
    b) the Maoists, to be fair to them, never said they gave up violence, or that they believe in anything other than a one-party rule. It is the SPA that hypnotized itself into believing this, and are only now (a minority of them) waking up to the reality. Conclusion: the so-called peace was also a sham.

  • Chandra Raj Gurung

    The comment by Dirgha Raj Prasai is praiseworthy and appreciated for all. The article by Bhumika Ghimire and the comment by Mr.Prasai present the real situation on Nepal.
    Infact, without monarchy Nepal as well as this zone can’t secure. Monarchy must be reinstated immediately.

    Thanks
    Chandra Raj Gurung.
    Pokhara

  • Dinesh Prasad Joshi Ratala

    A blood-warming analysis of the situation in Nepal. I hope I will be able to read more and more of your posts in the future. Thank you so much for sharing your views and ideas.

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