Stability A Reality Now?
The nation’s politics has started taking the course as enshrined in the constitution following the successful completion of the three-tier elections and formation of governments in the provinces. The appointment of chief ministers and ministers at various provinces is a landmark event in implementing federalism in the country. This important event in the nation’s political history has taken place after two years of the promulgation of the constitution that transformed Nepal into a federal democratic nation.
Also important is the much-publicised unification between the two major communist parties which is likely to take place a few days before the formation of the new government at the centre. A piece of news doing the rounds has it that the two chairpersons of the CPN-UML and the Maoist Centre have been inching closer to seal a deal over the unification of their parties by sharing the top posts between them on a rotational basis. Once the two parties are unified, the UML chair would take the mantle of premiership of the new government for the first two-and-half years of the five-year tenure. The two chair would lead the unified parties as co-chairs while the Maoist Centre chairperson Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ would lead the government during the remaining two and half years.
During the “one-on-one dialogue”, the two chairpersons have “agreed to share the top party and government posts between them and unify their parties” to give respect to the people’s mandate. On the first week of the October last year, both parties had inked a 7-point agreement, in which they had promised to unify their parties if they were given the mandate to lead the government through a majority. In the December elections held for the House of Representatives and provincial assemblies, the supporters cast their almost two-third votes to the two left parties.
The decision to unify their party by sharing the party’s top post as co-chairs has come after much delay. The UML chair had shown reluctance to hand the rein of the unified party to Prachand. As the delay in making agreement on the party unification lengthened, Dahal even tacitly warned that he might shelve all bid for the party unification saying that he might take a leap forward in the best interest of the nation.
The formation of the new left government following the unification of the left parties will be in the interest of our nation, where political instability is alleged to have impeded all development efforts for the past two and half decades. The two parties, while forging alliance to contest the elections four months ago, had said that they had joined forces to give stability to the nation’s politics and to guide the nation towards development and prosperity. The formation of their government after the much delayed unification is likely to end political instability which had elongated the transition in the country. The formation of the left government is also expected to end the transition for good while giving impetus to the development works through which the prosperity for the nation and its people can be achieved.
The left government in the centre and the left-led governments in as many as six provinces barring the Province 2 will also be helpful in coordinating all kinds of development and people oriented projects among the central and provincial governments. The central government will certainly have an easy time in making coordinated efforts with the provincial governments which are led by the leaders of the left parties. All this suggests that formation of the new left led government would facilitate the undertaking of various projects across the nation.
However, much of the government’s performance depends on its very longevity. There are many in the nation who believe that even after the unification of the two left parties, problems are likely to surface while according roles to the leaders, especially the senior leaders of the two left parties, who harbour ambition to get important roles in the unified parties.
Also true is the fact that the leaders of the unified parties may engage in forming their own factions and sub factions within factions and show less inclination to respect the gentleman’s agreement when the time will arrive to hand the reins of the party and government to another leader to get the desired roles and posts in the parties.
For example, some UML leaders are said to have pressurised the top party leader to go for the unification as per the agreement reached with the Maoist Centre while some UML leaders are totally against handing over the party rein to Dahal. These leaders are alleged to have been blocked the merger of the two parties. Many Maoist senior leaders are still found saying that the unification of the two left parties would not take place unless chairman Prachand was given the chairman’s post in the unified party or the prime minister’s positions in the new government.
Given the present bid for party unification, all the suspicions over the unification appear to have gone, at least for now as both chairpersons have been leading their parties towards the unification, which would clear the deck for KP Sharma Oli to lead new government. A new stable government is highly necessary for the nation at the present juncture because it cannot tolerate another “drama” enacted in the nation’s politics. The positive talks on the party unification and the formation of the new left government will put to rest the fears regarding the “squabble” over the key posts for the top leaders.
The unification and the formation of the new government is expected to take place within next week and it is also expected that the new government would complete its full five year term before next periodic elections comes knocking at the door of our political parties. The permanence of this government will be key to political stability that would help the “ trouble-free” Oli led government to form and implement the policies and programmes to deliver on the earlier promises of guiding the nation towards development and prosperity.