Postponed Polls, Postponed Future
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Posted 30 October 2007 - 04:38 AM
As the joke goes, when God was about to set up the world, he called his Prophet and said, “Let’s give Nepal the highest mountains.” After the Prophet nodded in agreement, God said, “Let’s also give this country a massive network of rivers with immense power potential.” God then said, “Let’s also give this small nation enough of plain fertile land, thick dense forests with the rare woody trees, a great deal of bio-diversity and massive deposits of ores and minerals.”
The Prophet, surprised by God’s generosity for Nepal, remarked, “God! You have put every good thing in Nepal. This will perhaps be the most beautiful and prosperous country in the world.”
God then smiled and replied, “Wait, you are going to see the people I put here who will be responsible to manage and rule this country!”
Sadly, what was perhaps meant to be a shot of harmless fun from the Almighty has turned out to be a tragic reality. And this has been all too true throughout our history. Throughout our history, our decision-makers have failed to deliver when it mattered. Denying the country, denying its people.
The latest denial has come in the form of the postponement of the November 22 Constituent Assembly elections. With less than 50 days to go, the crucial election which had already been deferred twice was put off for the third time when the Election Commission had carried out all necessary preparations and the people were eagerly waiting for the fateful day to draft their own constitution and seal, secure their fate and future. But with the polls postponed yet again, there is clearly too much at stake now.
Frequent strikes, bandas and protests continue to cripple life across the country, especially in the southern Terai region. The law and order situation is at its worst. Communal harmony is being tested to the threshold. We have seen that in Nepalgunj, Gaur, and recently, in Kapilvastu. But the question is who is supposed to improve the security situation and maintain law and order? Who will instill a feeling of security in the people’s mind? How many times will the self-proclaimed intellectuals shamelessly defend the polls postponement decision saying “there was no other option”? How many times will the country and its people be denied under different pretexts?
Whatever any of us may personally feel about the seven-party leaders and their national and international advisors, we should now be able to clearly admit that by postponing the polls again they have proved that they are simply incapable of comprehending and dealing with the immense complexities of the real Nepali situation.
Why the polls have been postponed this time around is no secret to anybody. It’s because of the Maoists. Even a child can see that. The Maoists, who have been advocating a Constituent Assembly from Day One of their “People’s War”, which claimed over 14,000 lives, put forth two impossible-to-meet preconditions out of the blue — proclamation of a republic by the interim parliament and a fully proportional representation (PR) based electoral system for the CA polls— which literally jeopardized the possibility of holding the polls on November 22.
The Maoists have been mechanically parroting the republic slogan, painting the Kathmandu walls red, but have betrayed the cause when it mattered the most.
The Maoist dream of the interim parliament declaring a republic is not workable at all. Morality and political honesty both enjoin us to reject this idea of a republic ahead of the polls as fundamentally, philosophically, logically, legally and constitutionally wrong. This parliament, whose nearly one-third members are not only unelected but also never faced elections, while the rest were elected over eight years ago, has no right to take such a decision. We hope our honourable interim legislators who will be busy with the special session of the House in the next few days in a bid to seek a way-out of the current deadlock will not forget this limitation of theirs.
Without entering into a debate on the merits and demerits of a fully PR-based electoral system, it is enough to note that the Maoists used this, too, just to thwart the elections which they have successfully done. Otherwise, there was no need at all to beat over an issue which they had already agreed upon months back—a mixed electoral system—and which has been also clearly mentioned in the Interim Constitution which in turn was amended twice without the republic or the PR issue being raised by the Maoists at all.
In the peace process so far, they seem to have offered an inch and taken a mile. And lately, they resorted to sheer blackmailing—“Postpone the polls, or else…”-- putting a price on things. This time around, proclamation of a republic prior to the polls is the ransom. Who knows if it won’t be a communist republic next time around?
This game of blackmailing has to end.
Posted on: 2007-10-08 10:08:21
Source : Ekantipur
Management is Art & Science of Getting Law as Results , this process results in Sanjibalisation .
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