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Machhapuchre Bank

Fast Track?

editCuriosity heightens. What prompts the Madhesh- centered parties to combine into two and what wisdom bestows them to shed their regional colors and allow them to assume a national nomenclature in course of their election talks with government is merely one of the many mysteries unfolding in Nepal’s political mysteries. How they could muscle government to buckle under demands that the opposition UML allege is more damaging than the one they (the UML) opposed last year is yet more mysterious. As it stands, it will be this agreement that is tabled in the legislature only to be rejected when brought under the vote by the opposition and, as it stands, the rejection in the House will trigger the resumption of the currently stalled Madhesh movement against the elections. It is not surprising therefore that the joke has turned against the mainstream’s election hard sell. Egg heads are now left wondering why when this exercise to woo the Madhesh vote leaves us no better than worse than previously we are left standing where we were of not worse that the government should tell us that we are facing elections. In this riddle, it is no wonder, that our wise men conclude, lies the stink.
The stink is with a sting. Calculations say that government is short of mustering around seven votes to ram the amendments through the legislature despite UML opposition. Having so widely disparaged the fundaments of constitutionalism, squabbles on constitutionalism regarding the Madhesh-government agreement need not find credence in the vote. The argument is that it is not constitutionalism that is at stake but constitution making through implementation to salvage the supposed gains of the Delhi agreement through elections. The theory is that the local polls should take place at whatever cost. As it is, none less than prime minister Prachanda concludes that not holding the polls will result in the revival of the 1990 constitution. The meaning is that government must insist on the removal of all impediments to the elections. By this logic, even the UML and allies somewhere will help fulfill short comings or else the UML will face charges it is leveling at government that they are sabotaging the gains of the 2006 movement.
The will it or will it not take place approach regarding the elections that is so close by merely reflects the need to benefit from the manufactured uncertainties from which our political masters must make capital. As much as there is much weightage on the theory that the polls will take place regarding the benefits to the political monopoly, a constitution forced upon the people by the weight of numbers endorsing it in the legislature remains in jeopardy until the elections do take place despite the large section of the population that has been excluded. To be able to turn this into an advantage our electoral democracy must continue to take advantage of the uncertainties and so benefit from last minute impositions. This explains the late hour meanderings that is so characteristic of the system we are under. The Madhesh agreement shifts the stage from the popular levels on the ground to the House where limited numbers are more susceptible to concretely manageable inducements. It is now where fast track approaches will come to play.

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