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The Show

editTen years of ‘people’s war’ culminating in ‘janaandolan 2’ and a further decade into ‘constituent assembly’ politics and the constitution is said to justify the need of the current elections to the constitutionally designated local levels. Somewhere along the line we are asked to forget that the very same people pointing out that the local levels have for nearly two decades been bereft of public representatives are the very causes of the absence of local representatives at the bottom tiers of the grassroots. There is, of course, political sense in covering up the fact that king Gyanendra, who was guardian of the 1990 constitution, sought to safeguard the constitution by attempting to conduct the long disrupted elections to the local tiers and it was the currently dominant political organizations that violently subverted it. More importantly, perhaps, the people are being asked to forget that there are more than three times less elected local representative posts to be contested under the current elections than that in the last elections. Also to be dismissed in the course of hard-sell is the fact that the new dispensation must rely for delivery on umpteen times more civil servants negating both the devolution and delegation theories backing the current dispensation. When all these ‘hard sell’ fail, logical discourse must turn to the meaning of it all. There is, after all, the fact that we have been rousing the population for change and precious people and resources and livelihood have been so wantonly squandered for the change so the efforts at change must be sublimated by elections to the newly created tiers. Again, elections are a means to organization and mass mobilization providing the impetus for the much promised change.
This having been said however, the heightened realization that there is much variance and discord between what has been promised and what is to be delivered is bound to negate the participation sought in the much touted polls. The Tarai, if it does not waver, is going to effect participation outright. The hills now realize the logistical difficulties imposed by the new local map of Nepal which is to be endorsed by the change through the participation in the elections. There is growing awareness among the excluded section of the political population that the constitutional provisions that inhibit the existence of majority government in parliament does by design prohibit the possibility of a constitutional amendments through two thirds majority. There is also the hidden agenda of government change and change in alignments already surfacing at the top. As it appears, it is merely the West that is championing the polls what with their intents to deliver for Nepal a malleable electoral democracy chained by a political cabal malleable to their cause. One thing, though, comrade Prachanda is right. If the elections don’t take place, the only constitution we are headed towards is that drafted in 1990. That is where this expensive drama looks like ending. The impudence and unaccountability cannot but end. Or, in the same breath, can only continue.

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