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.
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।”
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।”
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.