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Polls: Curiosities

editNo democracy can accommodate a coalition in an election government that lasts the government—as still remain—with the public avowal of contesting the polls coalescing with the opposition. Why prime minister Sher Bahadur Deuba did not fire his Maoist ministers and still retains them is another mystery altogether. These Maoist ministers and their declared election partners, the CPN/ UML now beats Deuba’s Congress outright paving the way for their declared electoral intent to forge a single communist party. In this sense the government party, now lame duck actually fostered the communist victory in the country. The emergence of two communist firsts in global political history thus must be credited the Nepali Congress. First, the first elected communist government in the world was distinguished by Man Mohan Adhikary’s minority government after the Congress’s Girija Koirala dissolved his majority government for elections and steered new elections which reduced his parliamentary majority enabling the Man Mohan Adhikary feat. But that was in the ‘90s when our nascent multi party democracy was still incubating of course. As of now though, Sher Bahadur Deuba will be able to share the distinction with his party rival Girija Koirala for, at this nascent stage of republican democracy, tabling a hands down majority communist electoral victory for Nepal, another first in political history. For the Congress though, this puts paid to its perpetual insistence to be in government come time of elections. It was in government and it lost the polls outright.

This then leads us to another theory. Is it quite possible that prime minister Deuba chose to bolster his democratic credentials by insisting on elections he knew he was loosing so radically? After all Nepal’s new republic is in a sense a product of his inability to conduct scheduled elections under the previous dispensation and his leadership rival Girija Koirala had close to successfully labeled Deuba’s faction the ‘Royal Congress’. But, one cannot but ask, is his personal credentials to be so staked as to handicap a political party claiming credit for usurping the Maoist republican agenda for itself? Indeed, if anything, Nepal’s curious democracy must once again stress the sovereignty of the individual leader over party. The Congress is Deuba for the moment. As is K.P.Oli in the UML or Prachanda in the unified Maoist Center. Whatever the contradictions between Oli and Pushpa Kamal, they remain. And they are by no means subservient to the interests of the two separate parties they represent much less the country. This is yet another curiosity. Will these two individuals, having made public promises of unification after the elections which served to give their parties a thumping win this round, find it in their individual interests? Here lies the crux to the promise of political stability that the poll results propagate. One thing is for sure though, the actual polarization that the election results suggest is going to make the future very brittle. This is yet another curiosity of Nepal’s curious republican democracy.

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