Enough is enough
Parties have failed the people
Nepalis are deeply frustrated with their political parties. The 601-member Constituent Assembly they elected with great expectations two years ago first failed to deliver on its original mandate: of drafting the constitution by May 28. Now the parties have forgotten why the people put them there in the first place. The centrality of the peace process in the ongoing transition seems to have been lost on them, as they get increasingly caught up in the power-hungry politics. For the third unfortunate occasion on Monday, the prime ministerial race turned into an ugly charade.
Factional politics and the parties’ monumental failure to work together have stopped the formation of a new government - more than a month after Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal resigned.
Nepal is now being held hostage to an extremely short-sighted and opportunistic brand of politics. And all parties need to shoulder the blame but the Big Three and the newly reconstituted Samyukta Loktantrik Madhesi Morcha (SLMM) even more so. Opportunistic politics is nothing new to Nepal. But even by their poor standards, our politicians have now scaled new heights. Never before has there been a power vacuum for so long (and so frightening) as the last one month. The results are all too evident: a steady erosion of state authority and undermining of vital state institutions, including security agencies. The morale among top-level government officials is perhaps at an all-time low. Needless to say, the economy is in a shambles; the much looked forward-to budget speech which was expected to provide a much needed boost to the national economy has been shelved - thanks again to the parties’ failure to agree on a minimum common ground. The country and the Nepali people can go to dogs for all they care.
The political parties are certainly fiddling while the country burns. Still, it would all have been perhaps forgivable if the country’s security situation was not so fragile. Nepal ranks among the most fragile states in the world - 26th in the Fund for Peace and Foreign Policy magazine’s annual Failed States Index for 2010. All this as the parties fail to settle their never-ending intra- and inter-party feuds.
The parties are unwittingly creating a new space for external forces to step in. But as much as our issues with the meddling ways of external forces, we primarily blame our own national actors for their failure to stand up to value based politics and the larger good of the Nepali people.
We want the new government to be formed without further ado and the revival of politics of consensus much in
evidence at the early stage of the peace process. The centrality of a lasting peace should be allowed to reclaim its rightful space.