Remember the time in 2004 when Information Minister Mohamad Mohsin warned that if the Deuba government failed it would bring in dictatorship? There was outrage, and Mohasin's NC-D and UML colleagues in the government called for his resignation. And, just as Mohsin had predicted, the Deuba government fell and sure enough dictatorship followed soon after. Now, if this regime falls what will follow? It is hard to imagine, but no one believes that a government chaired by the king has much of a future. Even if you take into account the king's speech of 1 February 2005 this regime has only two years left. The country's main problem is the insurgency, it is because of this that democracy has weakened. The king pledged to make multi-party democracy stronger, but his handpicked henchmen have never done anything to further that aim. And instead of resolving the insurgency, the regime is bent on provoking the Maoists. Such behaviour will neither strengthen constitutional monarchy nor multiparty democracy. To bring democracy back on track, it is the monarchy that has to return to the constitutional track. That way the gap between the king and the parties will narrow and we can make progress in finding a solution.
The king must begin talking as soon as possible with the seven parties to find a solution. Girija P Koirala's latest statements show he is ready for such talks. If that doesn't happen, then this country will drift towards militarism. Militarism means the demolition of democracy and the failure of the king's rule, a process that has already started. The king, parties and Maoists need to be aware of this because the result of militarisation will be unpredictable-neither the king nor the Maoists will be able to say what it is. So, it is better for all players in this power struggle to travel safely in a train with a locomotive than to take an uncertain ride on a runaway train.