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Silver linings

Monday, May 8th, 2017
CPN-UML candidate Madansundar Shrestha visits locals of Madhyapur Thimi asking for their vote. Pic: RSS

CPN-UML candidate Madansundar Shrestha visits locals of Madhyapur Thimi asking for their vote. Pic: RSS

From the Nepali Press

Radheshyam Adhikari in Kantipur, 8 May

The new year has brought a silver lining in the form of local elections. Public opinion is firmly in support of defending the role of the judiciary. Voters have put political parties on notice. This is no longer the prerogative of the elite, but it is the concern of the wider citizenry, and this is a good thing for democracy. Local elections are taking place because the people want it. Nepalis have long felt the absence of local elections services and development had both suffered. The first step of democracy that allows people access to government did not exist for 15 years. Unelected bureaucrats and local movers and shakers had monopolised decision-making.  There is great anticipation about the elections.

The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court was ambushed guerrilla style by an impeachment motion in Parliament. It became an issue that directly affected ordinary Nepalis, and not confined to the halls of Parliament.  Those behind the impeachment move should have proven that it was the proper thing to do, not just to Parliament but to the people who want answers. The proponents are becoming defensive. Civil society has united against the impeachment motion.

This proves that Nepali democracy is more resilient. Democracy becomes stronger after facing threats like these. Debate on the doctrine of the separation of powers is no longer confined to experts of constitutional law, but to family households across the country. When the people stand up to support the pillar of the independent judiciary, it becomes stronger.

This adds responsibility to the shoulders of all those involved in the judiciary. There have been many cases in the past where mistakes have been made. There is no alternative to an independent and free judiciary, that is the message that has spread across the country in the aftermath of the impeachment motion.

The parties are busy campaigning, but also forging alliances across party line. It remains to be seen how voters will take this. However, if it indicates that there is now more tolerance in politics then it must be seen as a good thing. Established parties have another challenge from new groups like Sajha Party and Bibeksheel Nepali. It remains to be seen how well they do at the ballot box, but the very fact that they can affect the elections will prove that they are needed.

If it is true that through the Internet and social media younger citizens are being attracted to vote then this can only provide more energy to our democracy. All inspirational trends are positive and prove that there is a silver lining to our democracy.



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One Response to “Silver linings”

  1. anonymous on Says:

    Our press has a list of parties and what they are going to do for us. Media should inform and teach how to inform.
    There is no reason why the nation has to remain ignorant or just vote for friends who pay their neia jutta.

    Ecology any party? Gender? Stop China? Judge the morcha?

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