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Prevailing Poll Doubts

editHaving played havoc with the fundaments of democracy and constitutionalism in the country, the Nepali political establishment is currently hell bent on assuring the people that corrections are being made in their approach for a new Nepal by implementing their constitution at the grass roots through elections at the local levels. Practical politics has benefits in the emphasis on elections since, for our ‘mainstream’, the polls is designed to popularly endorse the massive overhaul of the grass roots structures thus, in effect, legitimizing the constitution through yet another elections. After two elections to the constituent assembly, this will be the third where the popular vote will be cited as people’s participation to rubber stamp a change the very roots of which have been so tampered with as to exclude a disorganized opposition in order to retain the monopoly that has dragged the country to the stage it is in. In the process, the population as such has lost so much confidence in the political establishment that their insistence that the elections will take place has yet to receive public confidence despite repeated public insistence from all sections of the monopoly that the elections will take place even as we approach the month when the elections are scheduled. The question whether the polls will be held as scheduled is in every mind. This carries a tale all its own.
The election authorities say they are prepared to conduct elections as per that date. The patchwork government says the polls will be held. The opposition UML insists that they will aid the government for the polls. The mainstream media sells the idea outright by informing the public of the supposedly hectic election activities that are taking place in the new grassroots constituencies. Without doubt, party activities sold on the idea of their new empowerment are scurrying for attention for the new party tickets and the media can dish this out as the public enthusement that the establishment seeks in the elections. And, yet, one cannot but ask of the lurking doubt in the public mind that the polls will take place at all. This happens when the political sector thriving in their organizational monopoly nourished by money, muscle and media is lulled by their concept of legitimization through elections. We are, after all, degenerated into an electoral democracy; the elections are to endorse this. This is the design. It is transparent. But so is the fact that the public are aware that it is this same monopoly that tampered with the fundaments of constitutionalism in such a manner as to render constitutionally scheduled elections at the elections impossible for the past nineteen years and are only now recognizing that the people have not been empowered for so long. The public are also acutely aware of the fact that, more than the people at large, self serving politicians would seek to extend their rule through the holding of the elections and not, as claimed, to empower the people as the lone rationale for the local polls. They are aware that the political establishment is racing against a deadline to make their constitutional tampering a legitimate exercise in constitution building. The public by now have been too exposed to the political shenanigans of our leadership to actually be confident that the elections will take place. They are aware that the concurrence needed is too brittle to give the dates the necessary permanence. And, so, the question remains despite the hard-sell. Will the polls take place?

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