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Pot Pourri

editPrime Minister ‘Prachanda’ is at his tether’s end. This ‘gentleman’s agreement’ with the Congress to head government turn by turn is approaching time lapse. The conditional vote support he received from the Tarai parties in the legislature threatens to erode. He is still harping both ways. He must be allowed to conduct at least one of the three tiered elections and he must be allowed to conduct the constitutional amendments to make this possible. Both these chores he has assumed for himself as prime minister appear as distant as when he assumed office. Talks take place; fail and rescheduling for more talks take place. Deadlines expire for legislation for the elections and more deadlines are extended. Even the set scene for the elections must be reset. The election targets may be cast aside. The local elections become a misnomer when defining which local elections becomes a task onto itself. Upon discovery of this seeming nuisance the possibility of junking this for the moment to conduct elections straight to the legislature must also be toyed with. Page by page, chapter after chapter constitutional mysteries unfold in New Nepal’s new democracy. All the while the business of government proceeds with the flair for opportunism so familiar in our politics. Politics, after all, is politics.
Partnering Pushpa Kamal is Sher Bahadur Deuba, another former Prime Minister who only last year wrested the Nepali Congress leadership. The Prime Minister’s post was enough bail to dangle for Prachanda who broke his coalition with the UML to partner Deuba with assurances that each would share the head of government. A presidential decree amended constitutional provisions yet again for the elevation of Dahal to the post since the constitution had no provisions for a minority government or even a prime minister to leave his/her office upon loosing the confidence of the house. The prime minister in waiting in the current coalition has every reason to begin saying now that his turn approaches and no elections nor amendment has materialized. The emphasis Prachanda makes publicly that both are underway has meaning thus. He is working. And, he is working hard to fulfill his promised obligation and he needs time.
Then there is the Tarai. The Tarai based parties, while staying away from government have put in their valuable contribution in the making of the government. This is by vote, nothing less. This was at the cost of their boycott of the legislature. Since Prachanda has not delivered their pound of flesh, they have already scheduled the launching of fresh agitations down south. Prachanda continues to sit with them without any resolution, continues to promise the amendments and, at the same time assures all of the elections. Somehow our politics is such that we are asked to be oblivious to the contradictions. Deuba, partners government, asks for elections; the Tarai, supports government, asks for amendments. To top it, there is the UML’s K.P.Oli. His is the largest party in opposition. He wants elections at all cost and is against amendments. This political cauldron must surely be brewing the unknown. The public cannot but brace themselves. Uncharted territory, this. All, in the name of a constitution.

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