Nepali Times
Publisher\'s Note
Merry go round


Here we go again. Nepalis will be forgiven if they feel like a hamster on a wheel. This is history repeating itself as a mockery of democracy itself.

Ironies abound. The same political actors who bayed for blood and demanded the resignation of Madhav Kumar Nepal are calling for the NC's Ram Chandra Poudel to withdraw from the one horse race in parliament. They want him to withdraw "so as to facilitate a consensus". Does that ring a bell? It should.

Even after taking the notorious short memories of our politicos into account the UML's Jhala Nath Khanal and Maoist Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal should remember they repeated those exact words all of May and June. So, gentlemen, where is the consensus?

The problem, of course, is not between the NC and the Maoist, or the UML and the NC so much as between Khanal and Dahal themselves. Khanal is spooked out of his wits that Dahal may strike a separate deal with the NC. Khanal's chances are best if Poudel stands down, which is why he is clamouring for it. But if Poudel withdraws after a package deal with the NC, Dahal's prospects improve.

It has been said here before, and our reportages these past issues reveal, that Nepalis are now past caring. Despite the cynicism and negativity fostered by the quarrelsome politicians, however, it is important to care. It is important that we get a new government, it is vital that a budget be finally passed before the holidays, it is important to demobilise Maoist fighters and get the party to behave like a civilian entity, it is important to have a new democratic constitution. If we throw our hands up in the air and stop caring, we may very well end up as an authoritarian people's republic. The eccentric power transfer happening in Pyongyang this week shows where that can lead us.

We need to find a way out of this rut. Here, the Speaker's role is crucial and it is definitely more than that of a ceremonial bell-ringer. The majoritarian formula to form a new government may be perfectly within his terms of reference, but it is not working.

A national consensus government till the constitution is written is the only logical way to resolve this now.

Unreported reportages, CK LAL
Old leaders of New Nepal, INDU NEPAL

1. who cares
i totally agree.

looks like jhallu ram and puspa are the last two who have left who love to use the term consensus, unit.

nc has raised two alternatives to withdraw the race: implementation of the past agreements or if uml and maoist decide to make joint govt. by themselves.

like the second option cause its creative and brilliant. 

but i think, if there is pressure from public, meida, civil society, it would be better for nc and democracy to withdraw and maintain their stand from outside the ring. 

2. Nirmal

After repeating several times the same result in three months, our Nation could have a different call this time. So far the election to the Prime Minister was to choose between two poles distinct but quite similar: Ram Chandra Poudel and Prachanda of the Maoists. Propaganda aside, a centre-right with daura-suruwaal and a beret and a extreme-left with suit without tie, quite anti-india with minor differences on the economic and political model.

Self-deception is not only a territory where they(those who commit) live happily. It is a paradise where it is maintained the status quo, and that, to maintain one's status quo, we're talking about. All this and more floating in the air in the name of neutrality which failed olympically until now, and whose ability to influence seems to be zero. The question is not how Khanal and Company and Prachanda and Company respond to the questions that hover over their effectiveness and credibility. The question is whether the whole political class will be able to take the question of peace process and constitution drafting to its end, as they love to call: logical ending.

With regard to speaker showing his efficacy:

Democracy is not like Ram Chandra�s daura-suruwaal and topi and Prachanda� suit without tie, that whenever they want they can put them or not. Our Democracy is getting sick strangely because their battles are not focused on the goals, but in the instruments.

The recent verdict by the court on President�s controversial move over ex-CoAS Katwaal�s sacking could be an eye-opener for our speaker, to handle the issue positively by mainting the status of his position as a speaker of all the parties in CA.

3. Slarti
I don't care what view you expressed, you stated the facts and that is cause enough for a yipee,a you da best and a love ya. I don't think I need to write anymore. Thanks for allowing my presence on these pages. By the way, is it not "does that ring a bell"

4. jange
A national consensus government till the constitution is written is the only logical way to resolve this now.

How do you propose to have consensus between one side which says that as a political party it reserves the right to use force and to maintain its "coercive apparatus" and the other side which maintains that a legitimate political party in a democracy is not entitled to keep and use its "coercive apparatus" to further its political goals.

This issue should have been decided before signing the 12 point agreement but it was glossed over at that time. If we are going to have democratic system in Nepal this needs to be decided first otherwise it will be a never ending story- or we end up with a Maoist totalitarian state.

There are some questions that can't be be put off forever. There are some principles that can't be compromised. The Maoists have been given enough "benefit of the doubt". There is no point in going further until they show by their deeds that they mean what they say about engaging in non violent politics.

The mechanisms of government machinery are insignificant in this context.

I had not expected Kunda to fall so easily for the Maoist hype.

5. Ram
Its a nice piece, i do agree with your points that"This is history repeating itself as a mockery of democracy itself." Where is their so called consensus! it seems impossible the political consensus in these three leaders, their leadership has been failed already. There is no symbol again to draft a constitution in time. This si so pity! We again and again are suffering with wrong politics. Ke Nepal thula dal ko pewa ho?

6. Sameer
please, anyone but Jhallu. he feels very very greasy, just like that illiterate 'journalist' who runs a certain reporters' hangout in Putalisadak...

7. K. K. Sharma

Why is KD worried ? UML has played well in retaining power even after the resignation of Madav baje. Prachanda baje has played well, by diverting attention from having to disbandan its gurella forces.

 You seem to be one of those intellectuals who keep raving about Constitution, without knowing what type of constitution... Communist Constitution [ called People's Constitution] or a Democratic Constitution. Untill you are clear on the type of Constitution, current Interim Constitution will do. 

Interim or not, it is still a Constituttion. Interim or not, it is still a PM. Intrim or not, we still have a government.

8. Arthur
The conclusion that a national consensus government is needed is nothing new. That was pointed out by the Maoists long ago and agreed in the peace agreement. Congress expected to be the leader of that national consensus government. Everything changed when the Maoists won the elections. Congress refused to participate in a Maoist led national consensus government and insisted on forming an opposition to eventually bring it down.

Does any of that ring a bell?

Another thing that should ring a bell is that Kunda Dixit was among those demanding that MKN should resign after a year or so of a completely incompetent and useless government described as the most corrupt ever.

Yes memories are indeed short.

As well as not remembering that, the publisher does not remember that neither the merry go round nor widespread cynicism about parliamentary politics is anything new.

This is what Nepali elite politics has always looked like. A political system that excludes the majority HAS to look like that.

The only program of the anti-Maoist parties is to prevent the Maoists from changing that broken system. This becomes more and more difficult.

BTW what happened to Prashant Jha's column this week?

The latest International Crisis Group report seems to reflect some of his views and is quite interesting.

9. Dev Batsya

All the newspapers keep on talking about consensus, as though that is going to resolve the main problems facing the country and the people.

But the question arises, political consensus for what? The people have a right to ask if  the so called  consensus going  be in the peoples or the politicians interests?

The political parties and their bosses will be satisfied if they can share power and all the amenities, legal and illegal, that comes with it.

How about the people? Does anyone stop to think what the people want? How about  jobs, economic opportunities, and a  chance to give their kids a decent education?

 And foremost, people want security, without which nothing else is possible. When the political parties themselves share blame for the lawlessness in the country, and while many of their politicians and CA members are in cahoots with criminals, what are the chances ,even if they have a consensus they will do so primarily in the peoples interest?

Does any one of the political parties, national or regional, have a feasible plan for job creation for the people or economic development of the country?

Otherwise, does it really matter to the people who is the prime-minister? Why not let the present caretaker government pass the budget. Beyond that , how does it matter to the people if Poudel keeps on running for the 100th time for the prime-minister ship , or that Prachanda�s or Jhalnath�s dreams to be PM are thwarted , or that MKN remains indefinitely the caretaker prime-minister.

How does it affect people�s lives one way or the other? Unless the political parties can answer this one simple question, it means little to the people who is the prime-minister. 


1.       Leaders are those, who rise above politics. They do not hesitate to take back seat for the good of Nation. At times, they help others to rule instead of trying to rule by themselves.

2.       Constitution is the area where all peoples� representatives (CA members) should rise above politics. It should not be the field for doing routine petty politics or bargain politics. CA members should be able to cross party lines to bring constitution and for that matter formation of next Government.  People or country elected you (accepted you) as CA members because they believed you will rise above bargain politics to bring Constitution.   

3.       With Constitution in mind, right thing will be to form a consensus Government led by Congress. Maoist propose it, Madheshi Forum support it and UML and others accept it. Congress form the cabinet by bringing all parties in the cabinet. All support Constitution to pass it.

4.        If Maoist, UML or Madhesi Forum lead the Government, they will not be able to bring good Constitution. By good Constitution, I mean relatively good in comparison to other parties or as per parties� standard. I am not much hopeful that any of them will bring really good Constitution. 

11. rishav
I agree this a good artcile.

The constant crying, badhing and screaming inorder to end this current government since it's formation, where did that really get us?!! a caretaker government who can't pass the budget bill( the only real reason why the PM resigned in the first place).

The current political events has really put a sour taste of politics in the mouth by the majority of Nepalis and their faith in politicians. The Maoists are not even seen as politicians by most Nepali's, they are seen like those people who carry guns, walking into their villages trying to tell them what they should be doing still.

There is complete and total political apathy but life of the regular Nepali people remains just as hard or even worse as it ever was going back even a 100 years.

Like most exreme fringe poltical, religious and ethnic groups the maoists tried selling utopian dreams with a get rich quick philosophy to it's followers. Reality is now creeping in and the people are not buying it any more, the only thing really keeping the maoist leader's strength is their band of PLA and YCL.

At the momet does it really matter who is the PM??! Does it really matter about the constitution writing at this very moment??!

The MAJOR issue is what do we do with the MAOIST FIGHTERS?? This is really the big issue politically. Yes the Government should be allowed to function inorder to not affect the lives of every day people but if the issue of what to do with the Maoist fighters is not dealt with nothing else will really change.

MAoist are weakened politically and are now more inclined to accept the terms of NC and UML on what will happen to the PLA in cantonment sites. The Maoists are not even shouting and screaming about Nepal Army recruitment as it did before, signs of the times.

Inorder for regular Nepali people to have faith in their polticians they need to sort this issue out on what to do with these combantants.

It is quite obvious the Maoist leaders would like to include as much of their cadres as they can into the Nepal Army. But here is the thing, it is getting these combatants recruited into the institution of the Nepal Army, so if you going to join an institution you have to be up to to the standard or else no way hosay! I heard a weird notion brought up by some ill informed westerner that their will be a new military force of combining the Maoist guerilla force and Nepal Army as equals. Hahahahah! What a wally living in dreams. I don't think the Maoist leaders are even able to sell that false dream to their cadres any more. Alot of Maoist combatants probably have dreams of wanting to join the Nepal Army but that doesn't me they are upto the required standard.

The major scope for these combatants will be rehabilitation, offered jobs abroad, civilian political mainstreaming, recruitment into the securiity border forces etc.. Then the peace process wil come to a logical and rightful end and also the Maoist leaders will then really find out how hard it is to canvas for elections without the GUN!!

12. Kale
How long the majority lasts ? The election was called for two years term and it has expired without any result.  Next election can be held with a level playing field when Maoist will no longer have the Militia and Youth Militia Brigade. Then they will surely get less percentage, a diminished vote . 
The North Europeans cannot vote nor ICG. Yes there will be more Christian votes .

13. Dev Batsya

To survive, all totalitarian regimes need to continuously disseminate  propaganda to keep their people confused and thwart rational thoughts among the citizens.

Saddam had Muhammad Saeed al-Sahhaf (Baghdad BOB), Hitler had Goebbels, and all the communists regimes had their own propaganda ministry and so on.

The latest rumour has it that despite extensive searching the Maoist could not find any Nepali with adequate propaganda skills, and are now looking overseas mainly in Europe.


If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.

Joseph Goebbels


Intellectual activity is a danger to the building of character

Joseph Goebbels

14. who cares
this article has become more relevant and now NC should not pull out of the race.

* jhallu ram and bam are talking about jhallu ram's govt.. so the intention is too clear.
* moist are threatening to lunch strike and blackmailing with hydro power distribution.
* madhav nepal and oli are asking nc not to abandon the race since the are the one involved with the dealing and they may have sense sign of betrayal from maoist and jhallu ram.

so with out right action and commitment from maoist, nc should not leave the race.

the great outcome from jhallu ram and bam making maoist pull out of the race are now they are no longer in the position to break other parties and they wont be able to buy mps and no international criminals will be willing to invest on them. 

15. Dr B
I have just read today that Dr Bhatterai has informed "the nation" that unless the NC quit the PM race " ... there will be a constitutional crisis ...". 
I note his use of future tense suggesting he doesn't believe that 10 failed elections constitutes such a crisis already! What planet is he on?

16. Arthur
Dr B #15, in one sense I think you are right. Nepal has been in a constitutional crisis since civilian supremacy over the Nepal Army was challenged by President with support of the parties that have been unable to govern ever since.  Baburam Bhattarai should have mentioned that any future intensified crisis is really a continuation of that long standing crisis. The year of constitutional crisis with the totally incompetent 22 party MKN government refusing to carry out the peace agreement by actually integrating the two armies is not so very different from the last few months of "caretaker" MKN government.

In another sense I think both Dr B and Baburam Bhatterai are both wrong. Delay in forming a new government after failure of a previous government is not in itself a constitutional crisis. The Netherlands and Iraq have both had much longer periods of caretaker government (also Belgium?)

But attempts to govern with neither a budget nor an election would certainly result in a much deeper constitutional crisis. Perhaps that is what Dr Bhatterai was referring to if the present deadlock continues?

17. Dr B
Arthur 16
I think by your definition of something causing a constitutional crisis then we could go back to the King dissolving parliament in 2005/6 (?) which although maybe constitutional at the time was a crisis of the constitutional kind.
I think your last paragraph is really the issue when comparing Netherlands and Iraq for example since it is the consequences flowing from a caretaker government that really matter.
My problem with the other Dr B's statement is a matter of tone as well as substance, in fact it seems like a "non statement" of the bleeding obvious, unnecessary, unhelpful and (to my ears anyway) mildly threatening as usual.

18. Arthur
Dr B #17, the King's usurpation could be better described as a (military) coup d'etat rather than a "constitutional crisis" - the latter is something much milder.

If you consider the present deadlock a constitutional crisis, it seems strange to also regard Dr Bhattarai as "mildly threatening" for saying what you agree with.

I think an attempt to remain in government despite being unable to obtain parliamentary approval for a budget would constitute a genuine constitutional crisis. In any democratic system, transitional or not, the government has no choice but to face an election in that situation.

You could call Bhattarai's warning about this a mild threat if you like. But surely it is entirely appropriate to both warn and threaten concerning the "bleeding obvious" consequences of attempting to govern without either an election or parliamentary approval of a budget?

Is it really "unnecessary" to remind the clowns pretending to govern that they either have to obtain consent from parliament for appropriating the cash they are looting or else they have to face the people and see if they can fool them enough to let them continue?

Certainly it SHOULD be unnecessary and bleeding obvious, but it seems only fair to warn and threaten them of the bleedng obvious consequences before actually launching an insurrection. After all, they might have learned something from the consequences of having ignored the 40 point warning that Dr Bhatterai delivered a while back.

19. Dr B
Arthur 18
I do not consider the King's actions to be "military or usurpation", no more so than the Maoists arrival at the SPAM table shortly afterwards. But this is besides the point I made about the other Dr B
My opinion on Bhatterai's words and the general point I have made stands: ie Nepal is in a constitutional crisis NOW and his words were "mildly" threatening. In fact to go a little further most times a senior Maoist makes a statement there is an overt or implied threat. This time, as in recent times with him, the threat was relatively mild and to take this a stage further there is no doubt that his altered tone in recent weeks is part of his personal strategy to undermine his senior comrade and present himself as an acceptable alternative. He has come far since the days of his Maoist, Marxist-Leninist theoretical statements taken straight from the textbooks. 

20. Nirmal
I think Kangress is doing what it should have done long before:not to allow a militarist party to govern until they are disarmed completely. Better late than never. The politico-military attitude of the maoists should not be tolerated at any cost. Period.

21. Gole
Let there be commitment towards true democracy,not bogus one.;to resole our problem.
Edi Amin belonged to Uganda but were the Ugandans free in his regime ?
In USSR under Stalin and  in Rumania under Ceausescu,those countries were under the reign of rulers hailing from their own countries, but were those countries free? Yes they were dictators but claimed themselves  as great democrats.Beware of such situation in time. Why can.t all sit together and agree at a common minimum musts and essentials.  for the modern world. The entire blame lies with our civil society for their cowardice and servility. Let us make a check list for democracy of thec 31st century and ask ever party to make their stand clear to the people of this New Republic called Nepal.

22. jange
20. Nirmal
I think Kangress is doing what it should have done long before:not to allow a militarist party to govern until they are disarmed completely. Better late than never. The politico-military attitude of the maoists should not be tolerated at any cost. Period.

15 years too late. But better late than never.

23. Budabaaje
The King did not dissolve the parliament in 2002. The politicians themselves did. As PM, it was Sher Bdr Deuba's "constitutional" prerogative to dissolve parliament and it was the king's 'constitutional duty' to accept the PM's recommendation, which he did.

Things went off-track when politicians showed no interest in holding fresh elections for a new government, which was their 'constitutional duty' after dissolution of the parliament. This is why Gyannendra took over: to hold long-delayed parliamentary elections so that the country could have a legitimate government, and so that the constitutional rule could be re-stored.

His takeover was not a coup. As the head of state, it was his duty to restore the constitution. Back in 2003-04 even Kanak Dixit the Great Intellectual was going around saying the king should become more active in politics.

The real 'constitutional crisis' was caused when the SPAM (Seven Party Alliance and Maoist) took over and needlessly scrapped the 1990 Constitution in favor of the VACUUM we have today!

(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)