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Democracy in Nepal: A lot to learn

New Delhi, Sat, 26 Jul 2008 NI Wire

If Nepal Maoist Central Secretariat’s decision to be out of the government formation and stay in the opposition despite being the major political party in Constituent Assembly was unfortunate, then its leader Prachanda’s preconditions for his party to resume talks on leading a coalition government is a sheer senseless approach to defy the verdict of people and their aspirations to see Nepal as a democratic republic.

After facing defeat both in the Presidential and vice-presidential race, where the candidate of three party alliance of the Nepali Congress, CPN (Unified Marxist-Leninist) and Madhesi Janadhikar Foru, the Nepal Maoists leader Prachanda on Friday set some preconditions for his return to the political table. After meeting members of other political parties he stipulated three conditions: first the so-called three-party alliance should be broken, secondly a common minimum programme based Maoists proposals should be accepted and third one- an agreement to let the Maoists-coalition to continue for two years, the time frame to write a new constitution.

The election for the Constituent Assembly was won by the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoists) with 220 seats of the assembly’s 601 but not the simple majority to form the government of its own. Though an interim constitution calls for a political consensus but as usual Maoists put forth their usual arrogant approach by demanding both the posts of President and Premier. No party challenged Maoists’ right to lead the government but with a proper power-sharing deal.

Many assume that a Maoists-lead coalition with all top jobs shared between the second largest party Nepal Congress, the United Marxist-Leninist and the Madhesi Janadhikar Forum would be the best in Nepal’s interest. But the present stand of Maoists leaders is in no way in favour of the Nation. Maoists on the front need to learn the mechanism of power sharing process with a broader national consensus.

Only if one could advice other parties to persuade Maoists as the major political party of Constituent Assembly to come to the government formation, at the same time Maoists supremo Pushpa Kamal Dahal known as ‘Prachanda’ should at least respect the verdict of those who have voted against them in the national assembly.

Just pointing out India, the largest democracy in the world, it has proved that ‘Democracy’ is the only solution that could possibly provide political cohesion in a system with rigid and hierarchical social structure. India’s success as a democracy is also a part of its imaginative leaders’ democratic commitment. Greater political participation in form of coalition government has also proved to be the key asset of its survival in the modern changing political scenario. In a broader aspect, the time has come for the Nepal Maoists leaders to learn the basics of democracy for the sake of people’s dream to take the nation forward on the path of development and progress with ideas of democracy and free society.

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