Jhala Nath Khanal, the president of a party known for its wobbly nature, has finally become the prime minister. When India pushed Bijay Kumar Gachhadhar's candidacy to ensure that a leader it favoured would win, Maoist Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal withdrew from the election and supported UML's Jhala Nath Khanal. Although a note of dissent was filed against the decision, all the members of the Maoist party voted for Khanal. This shows party unity in action.
But Khanal is the same person who betrayed the Maoists during the Katawal affair. Chairman Dahal did not want to be deceived again, so he made Khanal sign a written deal before supporting him in the election. But as soon as he became the prime minister, Khanal started changing colours again.
If Khanal chooses to flow like driftwood on the signals of our southern neighbour, like Madhav Kumar Nepal and KP Oli, and not stand by the seven-point agreement, his future is not bright. Though he announced that he would not nominate leaders who had lost during the CA elections as ministers, two out of three of his cabinet appointees were defeated in 2008.
It is important to consider whether someone who cannot even stand by his word for two days is capable of running the country, concluding the peace process, and drafting the constitution. Khanal signed a written deal with Dahal and became the prime minister. But leaders of the same party have been declaring that a certain ministry should not be given to the Maoists. This makes UML appear less like a party and more like a mob.
Just a week after Khanal became PM, rumours have been circulating that he might break the record for the shortest period in office. We hope that Khanal can prove the rumours wrong.