Nepal has come a long way in consolidating the parliamentary democracy. Of course, Nepal’s tryst with it moved in fits and starts. It carries a history of over 60 years marked with incessant struggles, movements and eventual revolutions to usher the nation into the parliamentary polity. As the nation brought down iron-fisted rule of autocratic Rana rule, it entered the modern era of democracy. The road to democracy was full of bumps. The first experiment with the parliamentary system was very brief. It followed a decade long chaos and instability. The hope that the democratically elected first administration will end instability forever was dashed with the coup d’état that foisted the party-less Panchayat system on the people for three decades. The 1990s saw the whiff of democratic wind blowing worldwide. It also blown away the despotic Panchayat for it was anachronism for Nepalis to be governed by the unelected leaders and discredited regime. Since the downfall of Panchayat, the country’s march towards democracy continued. Several movements and agitations swept the nation, culminating in the establishment of federal democratic republic.
In order to live up to the spirit of parliamentary system, the lawmakers have their crucial role to play. Active, dynamic and competent lawmakers become the real messenger of the electorate. They raise the genuine concerns of people in a way that impels the government to spring into action to meet their aspirations. In democracy, the people form the ultimate source of power and sovereignty. This requires that their representatives be proactive not only in framing the laws but also in spurring the much-needed development. Nonetheless, it is not only the sitting lawmakers but those, who had already served the country could a lot for the betterment of governance. The other day President Bidya Devi Bhanadri highlighted the role and responsibility of the former lawmakers at a function in the capital. She was of the view that ex-members of parliament should contribute to ensuring economic, social and political stability. She was right when she noted that the former legislators possess the professional efficiency, knack and experiences with regard to development, administration and diplomacy. These attributes should be recognised and utilised to the overall advantage of the community and country. The government must not be hesitant when it comes to cashing in on their knowledge and experiences. The President particularly laid emphasis on the creative use of their intelligence and expertise.
On the occasion, some former lawmakers rued that their friends are facing acute economic problem, especially in the medical treatment. Some of them have already succumbed to their diseases. It is a matter of shame that the legislators, who contributed to democracy, had to die in the absence of medical services. It is the same woes that the commoners suffer from on the daily basis. Though the government can’t spend much on the welfare schemes owing to the limited resources, it can’t turn back on the former lawmakers. The government might support them according to its capacity. While expecting the dole from the government, the ex-lawmakers should also make selfless service to the people. As the country is set to formally embark on the democratic republic following the three-tier polls, they have responsibility to deepen the new system and work for inclusive economic growth.