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Home > English > Website archives > Rainbow of Crisis > The status quo is the main obstacle


The status quo is the main obstacle

Tuesday 26 August 2008, by C P Gajurel

The first president of the Republic of Nepal notified the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) to ‘form the government of national consensus” within seven days. Until this moment, the CPN-M had carried out a thorough discussion with most of the parties, big and small, that are represented in the CA to arrive at a consensus in forming the government. There has been comprehensive discussion among the four major parties; the CPN-M, the Nepali Congress (NC), the CPN-UML, and the Madhesi Janadhikar Forum (MJAF) for the last three days. The meeting has decided to form a task group from all the four parties to prepare a draft of consensus regarding the ‘policy and programme’ of the future government. Until this moment arrives, the parties have a common understanding that ‘in principle,’ the government should be headed by the CPN-Maoist. It is well-accepted that the Maoist party has the right to form the new government by virtue of being the single largest party in the CA. Therefore, this understanding cannot be considered as a significant development in the process of forming the government.

There are still two contentious issues left to be discussed and decided: firstly, arriving at a common understanding in ‘policy and programme’. Secondly, the division of portfolios amongst the major parties; commonly known as ‘power sharing.’ This question seems to be more important than any other in Nepal.

What is the People’s mandate?

The great people of Nepal have given their clear verdict: - to lead the process of the formation of a new constitution; to bring the peace process to its logical conclusion; and to provide some respite in the well being of the Nepalese society in favour of the CPN-Maoist, which is the single largest party in the CA. The NC was considered the largest party before the CA election, but has now been reduced to second, after getting only 37 seats against the 120 seats of the CPN Maoist in the first past the post system (FPTP). The CPN UML, which had an equal number of seats before the CA election, has now been relegated to the third position, winning barely 33 seats in the FPTP system. Based on the mandate of the Nepali people, the CPN Maoist has claimed the right to form the government. According to all democratic norms and values, it was the responsibility of Mr GP Koirala to step down voluntarily and to respect the mandate of the people and pave the way to let the new government be formed under the leadership of the CPN-M. However, true to the character and values of the NC, Mr Koirala preferred not resign, but to stick to the government like glue.

This is a gross disrespect of the people’s verdict and the peoples’ mandate. There were people who blamed our party before the CA election saying that the CPN-Maoist was going against the people’s verdict and not taking the mandate of the people through election. But when there was a real election and the heroic people of Nepal gave us a landslide victory, the same people chose to completely disrespect the verdict of the people. The people of Nepal are responding with anger when the process of the new government is not moving ahead. Not knowing fully about the real reason for this delay, many people are blaming all the political parties equally. But the main reason is that the NC did not respect the verdict of the Nepali people, and Mr Koirala chose to cling onto the Prime Ministerial post. If the NC had decided to vacate the party post for the winning party, we could have definitely overcome this excessive delay.

Non political and unnatural grouping

During the election of the first president of the Republic of Nepal, two major parties (CPN-M and CPN-UML) had almost arrived at a common understanding; for the post of president to go to CPN-UML, and the CPN-UML would support the CPN M to form the new government. But this understanding encountered a big jolt when it was broken at the eleventh hour. Who is responsible for the breach of this understanding is a matter of dispute. The recently held Central Committee meeting expressed its grief at this unhappy event.

When the CPN-M supported the septuagenarian independent Republican leader of Madhesi origin, Mr Ramraja Prasad Singh for President, and a Janajati female leader Ms Sashi Shrestha for Vice President, political events took a new turn. The irritated CPN-UML joined hands with the NC and MJF to cobble a grouping quickly against the independent and inclusive presidential and vice presidential candidates forwarded by the CPN M. With the sole aim of creating a block against the Maoist party, this grouping between three political parties belonging to three different poles was formed.

The grouping succeeded in winning both the constitutional posts of president and vice president and showing its majority in the house. It added one more obstacle in the formation of the new government. The Maoist party, as the single largest party with the right to form the new government, gave up this idea when it was reduced to a minority and the grouping showed its majority.

Main obstacle, the status quo

The status quo idea, line, habit, and behavior are the main obstacles in the progress and development of Nepalese society. There are two different ideas, forces, classes, behaviors, and habits which are facing off in various ways. Firstly, the progressive and forward looking ideas, forces, classes, behaviors and habits on the one hands, and second, the status quo ideas, forces, classes, behavior, and habits on the other hand. These two opposite tendencies will definitely cause differences in various areas, including in the formation of a government. The Status Quo forces are stubborn and always resist the new changes, new developments, and the progressive transformation of society. If progressive forces do not prevail, its opposite will prevail, thus destroying the dream and possibility of a New Nepal.

There are some forces which vacillate in between the two opposite poles. When the revolutionary forces seem to be winning, they start to project themselves as radicals. When, apparently, the status quo forces seem to bewinning, they keep close to the status quo and support them. This process may continue for some time, until there is a complete polarization. It is quite clearly being demonstrated in the present political climate of Nepal.

At this moment, the formation of the new government is the immediate task to be fulfilled. According to the mandate given by the people, and accepted by all the political parties; our party, the CPN-M, has the right to form the government in its capacity of being the single largest party. The NC also pretends to support this process, and is involved in it. But it has been learnt that the supreme leader of NC, Mr. Koirala, is actively involved in trying to form a government under his leadership. It was disclosed by some Madhesi leaders who met him in his residence. In this political situation, when progressive and status quo forces are struggling, there is a significant force in between that cannot be ignored. They have become the King maker in formation of government.

As according to their political character, the status quo forces have relations with international reactionary forces. They are being influenced and used by the foreign forces. So, the formation of the new government in Nepal also depends on the interests of foreign forces. In quite recent days, there is regular news in the Nepali media, which shows that there is increasing political intervention in Nepal from outside. It seems to be true to a large extent. These foreign forces realize that their interests will be jeopardized if there is a progressive and revolutionary transformation in Nepalese society. So, they are supporting the status quo forces in order to stop the political development in Nepal so that there will be no revolutionary transformation and the status quo can be maintained constantly. When the political parties in Nepal are involved in the process of formation of the government, there are always rumors that the list of cabinet have come from outside. The increasing political intervention from outside has become an alarming problem in Nepal.