Presenting the budget is a regular task of government. But the country is in transition. There is a caretaker government, and it cannot take decisions on issues with long-term implications. This is a universal norm. The Madhav Kumar-led government forgot its status, due to which an unfriendly incident occurred on Friday.
The government's decisions and activities prove that it has been instigating the president to be active. The prime minister and the speaker recommended the president to end the ongoing parliament session. This has undermined the parliamentary process. By bringing the budget forcefully, as if Nepal were under emergency rule, the ruling parties have betrayed the hollowness of their rhetoric of consensus.
While the speaker remained passive in the never-ending prime ministerial elections, he solicited a forced budget, and has warned he will take action against opposition MPs. He has been paving the way for the reactionaries.
The unconstitutional presentation of the budget is an act of treachery that has made a mockery of the CA. A budget brought by bypassing CA procedures has no meaning or implication and does not help the economy. It was presented simply for the sake of it. It has made a mockery of democratic norms. This budget will only help smugglers, corrupt people and black-marketeers, not the country's economy and the people.
Editorial in Punarjagaran, 23 November
he budget announced through an ordinance at the end of the parliamentary session has not only saved the country from becoming a failed state, it has also defeated the subservient strategy of the speaker and Jhalanath Khanal towards the Maoists. The government snatched the weapons from the Maoists and fired them back. This government deserves kudos.
A government is a government. There is no caretaker government. The country itself is running under an interim constitution. Any government formed under this constitution automatically becomes a caretaker government, meant to be temporary. The Constituent Assembly itself is both temporary and unconstitutional because the CA term stipulated by the same constitution has already expired. The Supreme Court that sanctioned the unconstitutional one-year extension of the CA is even more incompetent and anarchist than the CA.
The illusion of consensus has been cleared away. The Maoists, in the name of writing the constitution through the CA, won the elections using all manner of threats. They don't want to write the constitution. They want to create an environment conducive to capture power, meaning they promote instability and anarchy. The government's courage in challenging the Maoists has pushed them onto the defensive.
The democratic front of 22 parties should be revived to form a government that will manage the PLA and weapons. A strong and determined government is the only way to end the Maoists' anarchy.
Editorial in Budhabar, 24 November
t is the responsibility of all the CA members, but the speaker in particular, to maintain the decorum of parliament. Speaker Subas Nembang looked helpless when parliamentary values and norms were desecrated in front of his eyes. He has remained silent for the last five months, as the minority held parliament hostage. Ministers are beaten up, but he does not speak. He is probably the most 'gentle' speaker in the history of parliaments across the world. He approves of Maoist activities just because they are the largest party in parliament. The speaker could have saved Finance Minister Surendra Pandey if he had wanted to. But even after the incident, Nembang is hesitant to take action against those involved.
However, he is incredibly active in other ways. When three political parties agreed to request the president to remove the constitutional difficulties in passing the budget, Nembang expressed his dissatisfaction to the media. He told them, "Curtailing parliamentary rights is tantamount to curtailing the people's rights". He said using short cuts to amend the constitution was wrong practice. Egged on by his statement, the Maoists objected to the president's involvement in amending the constitution. Instead of facilitating the situation, the speaker has been making things worse. This was not done unknowingly; it shows to what extent one can go for cheap popularity.