Nepali Times
From The Nepali Press
Federations of factions

There are as many opinions as there are leaders. Leaders within parties have different strategies instead of an institutional policy. The indecision of parties, which increasingly seem like federations of factions, has held the country hostage.

"The political parties never got institutionalised, this has resulted in the current disorder within the parties," says Krishna Khanal, political science professor at TU. He thinks the leaders have not realised yet that a political party is an institution, and that the culture of elevating the individual rather than the party is predominant.

UML policy is to be open to any alternative for a national consensus. Party chairman Jhala Nath Khanal interprets it as 'ready to explore an alternative to the current government if there is a need for a national consensus'.
Vice Chair Bamdev Gautam says, "Madhav Kumar Nepal should resign and form a national unity government under Maoist leadership."

KP Oli has a different perspective, "Open for consensus means the Maoists are welcome to join this government."
PM Nepal has similar view to that of Oli, "If the Maoists join this government, it becomes a national unity government."

There is no uniformity in the interpretation of the Maoist stance either: peace process and constitution writing or a people's revolt. Maoist Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal and deputy chairs Mohan Baidhya and Baburam Bhattarai have differences on major issues.

The Maoists started collecting signatures to table a no-confidence motion against the government, but this was postponed for no obvious reason. The party central committee had already named Dahal to lead the government but the standing committee meeting suggested leaving the post open for alternatives.

According to Bhattarai, concluding the peace process and constitution-writing is the official party line. There is a need for a national unity government to complete the task. "People will resist conspiracy against this process, you can call it a people's uprising or a revolt," he says.

If this is what the official party line is, then why do they issue different statements? "Speaking against the party line shows they lack moral integrity," says political analyst Shyam Shrestha.

While the Maoists and UML quarrel over the constitution and government, the NC is bickering over party leadership.
Sher Bahadur Deuba, Sushil Koirala and Ram Chandra Poudel may have different personalities, but they have a single political aim. They are fighting for primacy within the Nepali Congress.

During party unification in 2007, Deuba was ranked above Sushil Koirala (and below Krishna P Bhattarai and the late Girija Prasad Koirala). But as acting NC president, Sushil Koirala was ranked above Deuba on Thursday (in the order in which the names appeared in the minutes). Deuba was enraged and stormed out of the meeting. But in a meeting the day after, Deuba was ranked above Koirala, to the chagrin of the latter. "The ranking was done during the party's unification, and this will be effective until the next convention," explains party general secretary Bimalendra Nidhi.

1. Arthur
There is no uniformity in the interpretation of the Maoist stance either: peace process and constitution writing or a people's revolt.

Those have always been the two alternatives. That is simple reality. All leaders of the Maoists have always pointed out that simple reality. It is up to the other parties to choose. Either way the Maoists will act together as they always have.

Presenting the continued existence of two possible outcomes as "no uniformity" completely misses the point. It is the parties that try to ignore this reality that are divided, not the party that recognizes and points it out and prepares for whatever the others do or don't do.

(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)