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Undecided election

Publication Date : 11-10-2012


Despite all their efforts to analyse situations, Nepal's political leaders rarely have sufficient information to fully comprehend the consequences of their actions. This is particularly true during moments of crisis. Of course, during such occasions, it is essential that leaders discuss as many aspects of a situation as possible before they take a decision. The decision they do take, however, will always be fraught with uncertainty. But they have to stick to it as though they wholeheartedly believe in it and see it through to its consequences. If they remain undecided and continue considering various options even after all sides to the matter have been discussed before, they only throw the country into greater uncertainty and peril. Delays will only serve to damage the political process, to make the leaders appear weak and indecisive, and to decrease morale among the ranks of the parties.

Such is the situation that unfortunately seems to have developed in this country. For months since the dissolution of the Constituent Assembly (CA) in May, party leaders have been discussing the path forward. They considered whether it would be better to reinstate the Constituent Assembly or hold fresh elections. For some time they tried to find an agreement on the outstanding matters of the constitution so that they could revive the CA for a short period and promulgate the constitution. But the differences between them persisted. They finally decided that there was no option but to hold elections to another Constituent Assembly in April or May of next year. But now there has once again been a turnaround. Maoist party Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal is once again pushing for the reinstatement of the CA. Previously it had appeared that the discussion among parties had made some progress. Now it seems that they have moved in a circle only to reach the same place from where they begun discussions in June.

The longer this continues the longer the country will continue to be a victim of the indecision of a few top leaders who are largely disconnected from the population. These new discussions also threaten to derail the necessary preparations for holding elections in June. It will be positive if the leaders are able to reach an agreement on the model of federalism so as to reinstate the CA. But, given the example of recent history, it is clear that this will not be so easy. If they fail to agree on reinstatement after holding talks for a few months, then what? By then, it will be realised that there are too many things to do before elections are held—amending the constitution, drafting an electoral law and delineating constituencies. And elections will have to be postponed once more. This is a situation that should be avoided.


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