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Political Impasse in Nepal Deepens

A man cleaning Swayambhunath Stupa. Photo by Rajneesh Bhandari/ThinkBrigade.com.

It has become a common saying in Kathmandu — it’s difficult to predict Nepal’s politics.

The squabbles between different stakeholders have made the adoption of a Constitution seem impossible. The federal states would have been declared. The army integration process would already have been completed. And yes, Nepal would have now geared up for the next election.

But for the last six months Nepal’s clock is literally moving backward. After the constituent assembly failed to deliver the constitution, on May 28, 2012 the political deadlock has deepened in Nepal.

Though the caretaker prime minister Baburam Bhattarai called for a constituent assembly in November, the election commission said that it cannot hold election without the consensus among the political parties.

After the expiration of the first proposed date for the election, Prime Minister Bhattarai has again called for another election during April/May, however the date has not been fixed yet.

President Ram Baran Yadav has time and again called on the parties to choose a Prime Minister by consensus to lead the new government. But the political parties are not able to reach an agreement.

Sushil Koirala, President of Nepali Congress(from left), Puspa Kamal Dahal, Chairman of Unified Communist Party of Nepal-Maoists (UCPN-M), and Baburam Bhattarai, Prime Minister of Nepal, at a four-party meeting in New Baneshwore on 6 Dec. 2012. Photo by Rajneesh Bhandari/ThinkBrigade.com.

The meeting of four major political parties, the Unified Communist Party of Nepal-Maoists (UCPN-M), the Nepali Congress (NC), the Communist Party of Nepal Unified Marxist Leninist (CPN-UML) and United Democratic Madhesi Front (UDMC), in New Baneshwore on Thursday evening, failed to agree on a common candidate to lead the new government.

This was the second time they failed to nominate a candidate for the Prime Ministerial post after the deadline set by the President.

The opposition parties want Prime Minister Bhattarai to resign as quickly as possible whereas the ruling parties want a package deal before the prime minister resigns.

The opposition party leaders have been questioning the need for package deal on important issues if they are going to be decided upon the election.

“As the constitution assembly election is going to be held, what is the necessity of the election if we are going to agree on all the issues that will be decided by the election,” Bamdev Gautam, Vice-chairman of CPN-UML asked.

Another leader Krishna Sitaula, General Secretary of the NC, said that the ruling parties don’t want to come to a consensus and escape the Constituent Assembly election that is planned for April/May.

“If there is no consensus, there will be struggle but we are stressing on consensus,” Sitaula added. “Struggle and protest programs will be launched to bring the ruling parties to the consensus.”

Agni Sapkota, Spokesperson of UCPN-M said that the meeting with the parties would continue.

However citizens are tired of listening to the political parties and that’s why they say it’s difficult to predict the politics.

“They are lagging behind in addressing the current political upheavals and its posing a problem in building consensus in political scenario,” Nisha Rai, 24, resident of Basantapur, Kathmandu told ThinkBrigade.

Political analyst Lokraj Baral said both sides should be flexible if they really want consensus to happen.

The Nepali Congress on Wednesday had proposed party president, Sushil Koirala, as its candidate but it couldn’t gather support from the ruling parties.

President Ram Baran Yadav on Friday has again granted the political parties six more days to nominate a new consensus prime minister. But it’s still difficult to predict if they will reach any consensus this time as well.

Snapshot of a Facebook discussion.


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About The Author(s)



Rajneesh Bhandari

Rajneesh Bhandari

Multimedia Journalist

Rajneesh Bhandari is a multimedia journalist based in Nepal with seven years of reporting experience in news and current affairs. In June 2012 he came up with Living with Autism, an iPad Book, an interactive multi-touch book. He was awarded KTV’s journalist of the year 2011 for his investigative stories on diplomatic passport scam. He is Transparency International's young anti-corruption journalist. He is also UNESCO and ILO's youth journalist.

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