Plea For Full Time Prime Minister
The Left Alliance comprising of the CPN- UML and CPN- Maoist Centre that celebrated the euphoria of the victory in the elections held for provincial and federal Parliament of Nepal recently has stumbled on the bumpy road of the party unification and integration. In fact, UML and Maoist Centre have been the two major actors and stakeholders for merger and unification that have avowedly pursued with their own volition to integrate the two communist parties into a single larger leftist group. In fact, these two parties were so mutually hostile to each other in the past that no possibility was ruled till some time ago that they would soon leave their bitter rivalry behind and come together to strike an electoral alliance to fight the crucial elections under the single bandwagon. Needless to repeat, they had contested the local level elections rivaling each other tooth and nail.
However, these two parties agreed to fight the polls with the single and same electoral manifesto, shared the federal and provincial parliament seats with mutually agreed arrangement and launched the massive electoral campaigning and clinched the emphatic win in the elections. They had pledged to give stable and strong government to rule for five years, ending the days of the frequent changes of the prime ministers and ministers. This had hit the right chord to give them the overwhelming mandate of the people for stability and permanence of the government. The last election was very significant in the sense that the competing parties of all hues choreographed their commitment to deliver prosperity and stability to the people. The parties agreed in unison that the days of the ideological contradictions and controversies were over following the promulgation of the federal democratic constitution in 2015. And the time has come to act in concert for the pursuit of social and economic delivery to the people. It was a positive development on the part of the communist parties in particular that had thrived on the principles and polemics of dialectics and contradictions for so many historic years.
However, the elation and enthusiasm with which the Left Alliance was welcomed and voted to rule in the country has been partly dwindled especially due to the differences that have cropped over the sharing of the state and party executive power. Undoubtedly, UML has the natural and obvious claim on the post of the prime minister since it has bagged large number of seats in both federal and provincial elections tally. It has indicated its interest to keep also the party executive head to maintain its lead and supremacy both in the government and the party even after integration. But the Maoist Centre has laid its claim on either of the executive position and seems in no mood to budge from its position as any compromise would be tantamount to the total surrender to the UML.
Moreover, Maoist Centre chair Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda is a charismatic politician basking in demagoguery and bold rhetoric. He indeed holds taller ambition and reportedly nurses manifest aspiration to become the executive president of the country. The Maoist Centre had pleaded in the past for the amendment to the constitution to replace the parliamentary model by the presidential one as the party holds that its leader Prachanda has the nationwide appeal to give edge over other any contenders if there was the election held for the executive presidency.
Furthermore, communist parties are generally imbued with power centric statist tendencies and transfix their eyes on state power befitting the legacy of Lenin. And this is more so in the case of Maoist Centre that had waged violent conflict to smash state and capture the power. It should, therefore, be comforted and seduced to stay in the Left Alliance and go ahead for party merger and integration through what they call as win-win power sharing negotiation. The prospective prime minister K.P Oli is better advised not to stake claim on both the executive posts especially in the new democratic context since it is difficult to give justice to either of the roles he performs. Moreover, the post of prime minister is a responsible executive position of the state and one should devote full time to head the government and tackle the issues and problems faced by the nation.
The Left Alliance has promised transformative change and reform in all spheres of the national life and the country's prime minister should be responsible to accomplish the feat. He should be able not only to steer but also cruise along the course lest it was derailed. The country is in need of the executive prime minister who can rivet an undivided attention to lead the nation through ups and downs, shadows and sunshine, opportunities and challenges. The prospective PM should, therefore, opt to absolve oneself of the responsibilities of the party to dedicate full time as the executive head of the government. From governance point of view also, one who draws perks and benefits from the state coffers should work full time for executing official responsibilities demanded by the post of prime minister.
According to the new constitution of Nepal, prime minister heads the most important executive office in the country that carries out the laws and policies of the state. He or she is a person in charge of leading the country and setting a national agenda. He or she is held accountable for failures of policy and implementation in the country. The kind of ambitious national agenda both in social and economic front the Left Alliance has set forth, a visionary hardworking and integrative leadership would alone be able to do justice to it. Our past experiences also indicate that the prime ministers did not succeed because they were bogged down by the party organisational issues, among others. The time has come for a full time prime minister that can do justice and fulfil the state responsibilities and obligations in an effective manner.