When the opportunity arises, the Congress should take the lead in defending democracy

| 2021 Mar 04 | 05:12 pm 1061

Basanta Bhujel
The ruling Communist Party of Nepal (CPN) is divided into two camps. One faction is led by Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli and the other by Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda. Leaders of both the camps are urging Nepali Congress President Sher Bahadur Deuba to lead the government. But Nepali Congress President Sher Bahadur Deuba is reluctant to accept this persuasion. In a party system, the sole decision of the chairman cannot be made without the consent of his party. Chairman Deuba called an emergency meeting of the central members in Kathmandu to discuss the persuasion of both the CPN (Maoist) factions. The meeting also failed to make a concrete decision.

There are two technical and moral reasons behind the failure of the Nepali Congress to take a concrete decision despite its request to lead the government. The CPN (Maoist) is not legally divided. Change of government (Prime Minister) is not possible until partition is legalized. It is too early for the Nepali Congress to decide to lead the government until Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli is removed. The Nepali Congress has 63 seats in the House of Representatives. At least 135 seats are needed to form a government. It is too early for the Nepali Congress to decide to join the government until the remaining 72 seats are secured. The entire CPN (Maoist) has 173 seats. How can this 173 seats be distributed during the party split? Which group has how many seats? Unless convinced, the Nepali Congress is quick to make a decision. During the split of the CPN (Maoist) parliamentary party, the same party got 135 seats and the government gave it to him The formation does not require the support of another party. Even if the same camp gets 105 seats, it will suffice if it gets support from Madhesi Dal. When the Congress equates with the party with less than 72 seats, the majority is not enough. Therefore, the Nepali Congress is still waiting and watching. This is the main reason why the Nepali Congress has come to the conclusion that it will not decide on the formation of the government until the party split of the CPN (Maoist) is formalized.

Similarly, a no-confidence motion must be passed in the House of Representatives to remove Prime Minister Oli. The Nepali Congress alone cannot pass a no-confidence motion. The support of the CPN-Prachanda-Nepal camp is needed. But legally, KP Oli is still the leader of the CPN (Maoist) parliamentary party. Bringing a no-confidence motion against the leader of one’s own parliamentary party or supporting a no-confidence motion is against the essence of a multi-party parliamentary system. In such a case, the essence of multi-party parliamentary system ends. The removal of Prime Minister Oli is inevitable, but the essence of a multi-party parliamentary system must be preserved. It is the responsibility of the Nepali Congress to protect it. It seems that the Nepali Congress has become aware that the foundation of the system of governance should not be shaken in the process of overthrowing a bad Prime Minister. Because governance is more important than any individual. The country is more important than governance.

The situation is almost the same until the CPN (Maoist) splits. KP Oli is dirty water, Governance is childish. On the positive side, the Congress is thinking of not throwing away children while dumping dirty water. Therefore, the Nepali Congress is not in a position to take concrete decisions before the formal split of the CPN (Maoist). At most, the split of the CPN (Maoist) is certain to be formalized within the next four months. The two parties have almost equal status in the parliamentary party. In that case, the country would not get another majority government without the participation of the Nepali Congress. Because an alliance of two CPN (Maoist) is not possible. In that case, if there is no alliance between one faction of the CPN (Maoist) and the Nepali Congress, the country is sure to go to the mid-term elections. Although mid-term elections are natural, they are not dear to the people. The people want the House of Representatives to run for the entire term. If the message spreads that the House of Representatives could not function for the entire period due to the Nepali Congress, there will be a big loss for the Nepali Congress. Nepali Congress leaders have spoken informally on this issue.

In fact, this is the decision that the Nepali Congress has to make. If we look at the history since 2007, there is not a single instance of a fair election in the country without a Nepali Congress government. After the 2007 revolution, in 2008, while the Nepali Congress government was preparing for the elections, the king created obstacles. After that, the process of forming a government with the exclusion of the Congress began. The Nepali Congress was forced to agitate again for elections. The gentle disobedience movement in 2014 BS also forced the then King Mahendra to form an electoral government under the chairmanship of Nepali Congress leader Suvarna Shamsher Rana. The government held parliamentary general elections within a year. There is a history of holding general elections twice in the thirty years of the Panchayat period, but that was only to show. After the transformation of 2046 BS, an interim government was formed under the Prime Ministership of Nepali Congress President Krishna Prasad Bhattarai

The government completed the constitution-drafting and general elections within a year. In 2048 BS, a unanimous government of the Nepali Congress was formed. The government held local elections within a year, in 2049 BS. Mid-term general elections were held in 2051 BS. When local elections were held in 2054 BS, there was a UML-led government led by RPP. But the election was even more rigged than during the Panchayat period. The general election of 2056 BS was held by the Nepali Congress-led government. Not only that, the Constituent Assembly election of 2064 BS and the general election of 2074 BS, local election and state assembly election were also held under the leadership of Nepali Congress.

After the promulgation of the constitution, KP Oli became the Prime Minister in October, 2008. Even though it was clearly written in the constitution that elections would be held at all three levels within two years, Oli started conspiring to delay the election. After that, Oli was replaced by a government led by Prachanda and then Deuba. Deuba presented himself very honestly for the general election. After the electoral alliance between the UML and the UCPN (M), the Nepali Congress was sure to lose the election. Knowing this, Deuba honestly held the election to the State Assembly and the House of Representatives. Deuba further elevated the tradition of the Nepali Congress of putting democracy and nationality above the interests of itself and its party.

Now history has again explored the role of the Nepali Congress. If the Nepali Congress does not join the government, the election will not take place. Even if it does, it will be rigged. Democracy and nationalism are the ones who will suffer in the absence of elections or rigging in elections. Therefore, the participation of the Nepali Congress in power is necessary. It is also the right of the Nepali Congress to lead the government in the event of a split. In the last general election, UML and UCPN (M) got 48 percent and Nepali Congress 35 percent votes. The Nepali Congress is the first party in terms of public opinion after the CPN (Maoist), which got 48 percent of the vote, split into two halves. The essence of democracy is to lead the government by the party which has the most public opinion.

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