By the cold hard light of a misty Monday morning in Kathmandu, the previous night's declarations in parliament look both good and bad.
The special session of parliament that ended with two non-binding proposals to the government on declaring Nepal a republic and conducting the elections on full proportional representation were both a success and a failure of our politicians.
One could say that the honourable members of the interim legislature, including the Maoists, were at least not killing each other on the battlefield. Parliament was tuned into a ballotfield. The sight of Maoist thumping the tables instead of throwing socket bombs must be seen progress towards peace. Maoist spokesman Krishna Bahadur Mahara using the legalese parliamentary lingo was an indication of how far the armed rebel group has come.
However, the two resolutions on Sunday night represented a political compromise mainly between the leftist parties and a face-saving way for the Maoists to extricate themselves from the parliamentary cul-de-sac that they had painted themselves into. The fact that they needed the UML's help to come out of it claiming victory also showed the magnanimity of the UML leadership which was mature enough to realise that their Maoist comrades needed to be rescued.
The floor of parliament was all smiles after Speaker Subhas Nembang read the prime minister's statement and declared the session closed. What this exercise in parliamentary-decision making showed was that it allowed everyone to come out looking like a winner. For a moment, everyone forgot that it took 25 days of deadlock and often-acrimonious debate to come to this point.
Because it was apolitical compromise, however, the legal issues are still stuck. The proposals only put moral pressure on the government to go ahead with parliamentary ratification, but that still needs two-thirds majority of house which is not possible without the united NC agreeing to it.
The conclusion: more delay in announcing the date of the election, more delay in deciding about electoral procedures and prolonged uncertainty about the future of the monarchy and hence the country.
A peace missing