Nepali Times
By The Way
Final showdown



The momentum gained by the peace process in the last few weeks of 2011 carried over into the new year. The Baburam Bhattarai government is making final preparations to finally decommission the Maoist camps, and has instructed the Nepal Army to make necessary arrangements to integrate regrouped ex-guerrillas.

So far so good on the peace process. It is on the constitution that the real debates have begun. The parties have locked horns over whether we should have a presidential or parliamentary system, and the kinds of federalism. The debate has spilled over into the op-ed pages of mainstream media.

The Maoists want a directly-elected executive president while the Nepali Congress is pushing to retain a Westminster-style parliamentary system. But, in what is a classic case of negation theory, leaders on both sides are furnishing arguments in their own support by pointing towards the loopholes in other models. This approach doesn't just make a compromise impossible, it glosses over the fact that no system is flawless. Rather, it is the viability of a system in a given political landscape and self-correcting mechanisms that determine success or failure of any model.

Some are convinced that the only reason we should not have a directly elected executive is because Pushpa Kamal Dahal has shown signs of megalomania before and may take over total power. Those in favour of an executive president, however, warn about the dangers of reverting back to 'failed' parliamentary democracy.

What both sides don't admit is that the models they propose have their own loopholes. In fact, a brief recap of history shows that there are examples of successes and failures of both models. An executive president in the United States may have provided stability and strong leadership, but in Russia, Cambodia and Sri Lanka it has undermined democracy. Similarly, parliamentary system may be successful in Australia, but has bred corruption and political instability in India.

The success or failure of a system depends on political culture, a strong role for an aware citizenry acting as watchdog, and a vibrant free press ensuring accountable political leadership.

The political parties are racing against time, trying to avoid a double jeopardy of constitutional void and judicial contempt in the wake of the Supreme Court verdict on non-extension after 31 May. So, it would not be surprising if they agree on a compromised 'French Model' which provides for both an elected executive and a parliament. But there is no assurance that the lowest common denominator will succeed either, because it will have two overlapping power centers that can lead to a disastrous and paralysing power struggle.

Those who see the threat of totalitarianism as the reason to reject an executive president should remember that it was a constitutional head who took over this nation not long ago. Just to be on safer side this time, maybe the parties should agree on downsizing the national army instead.

Here are some workable compromise plans:

ē A parliamentary system which ensures a minimum tenure to the elected
government with provision of calling candidates back to their constituencies.
ē An executive president with non legislative powers, effective impeachment provisions and well-defined emergency powers.
ē Declaring fundamental laws of the constitution like freedom of expression and the right to peaceful political dissent as sacrosanct.

It does not matter what form of governance we adopt as long as it is accountable and promotes political stability. The Nepali people are past caring, they just want their lives to get better.

Read also:
The power to change

Our PhD prime minister is fond of symbols and signals

1. who cares
PS: I really hate myself for needing to use nepalitimes to express my views. but here are my points:

1) if the executive head is sacked by people, he should not be able to run for next election (any election), if people want the executive head to continue then, those MPs who voted against the executive head should be barred from taking part in the next two elections (any elections). 

2) if the executive head looses then the head should resign and should not be able to take part in next two elections. and if those MPs who went against the head loose, then they should resign and should not get to take part in next election.  

4) members of constitutional bodies should be selected by a group of retired heads from army, chief judge, non politically elected bar member, professors etc. and they should be selected by parliament. 

5) the executive head  should have the  power to run organizations like the army and APF by staying inside the law.

6) as far as i know, US president is not directly elected by the people. 

2. who cares
the form of govt. proposed in the CA is a joke and it is more close to ceremonial president than to the executive president. what kind of fools want ceremonial president to be elected directly by the people?maybe from next time we should directly elect the driver of the executive head by people and the executive head should be elected by the parliament.

also Maoists are the biggest idiots. they are too focused on president being elected directly, not his power. in the past they were too focused on our flag, name of the country, name of the states. they only see what is seen on the outside.

3. who cares
i think nepalitimes is trying its best to curb comment from being better than the column itself. that is they are involving in translation which is sometimes just opposite of what the comment is meant to be and sometimes main points disappear. that is what happens when 8th grade english teacher is given job of translation. i still do remember how they used to teach us... made us memorize even those 4 page long essays. 

where are the major missing points of 1 comment: 

*the group that selects bosses of constitutional bodies should also have power to drag ministers, executive head, powerful politicians and other suspected criminals who are being protected by powerful individuals or groups or if govt do not charge them for their possible crime into the court of law. and also they should be provided with a team of police, apf, lawyers to investigate such crimes.  they should also have a team and some power to protect nationalism.
*army, APF should be made independent. and they themselves should have control over their own promotion, transfer, punishment etc. promotions of their heads should be passed by parliament. and firing them should be in the joint hand of executive head and majority of mps or executive head and majority of the group members who select member of constitutional bodies. 

*there can be four bodies to control and punish corruption-constitutional body (main), small body under the control of executive head, small body under the control of parliament and a small body under the control of the group that selects constitutional heads. They all should have power to investigate and drag the possible culprit into the court of law.

look nepalitimes, unlike you, i dont get paid for using my head for the betterment of nepal and nepal.   ... and from last week, i am doing my best to avoid commenting on nepalitimes. .. and trying to comment on major national interest only. even though your media is privately owned. but dont forget that you get special privilege.  some forth important body of the nation (rastra ko chautho aanga). that is why you dont have right to say, nepalitimes can do whatever you want.

4. who cares
i used to visit nepalitimes around 25 every week to read radical comments, i am not interested in daichure columns. now i only visit 3/4 times in a week. for me, without those comments, nepalitimes is just a waste of time. and lately, i dont see those comments. 

5. shubha chintak of who cares
wow, i came here to comment on Anurag's piece. but i have been blown away by mr or miss 'who cares'. you are definitely a budding intellectual of our country. your regular comments and views have left me wondering why NT hasn't hired you and given you your personal column yet. have you thought about being a regular columnist? that way you can make sure that neither Kunda Dixit nor his unqualified assistants go around tranlating or unnecessarily editing your pieces. and with your help NT can go from being just a daichure newspaper to being the New York Times of Nepal. i for one really look forward to a "who cares ko rant" column in NT in the future. beware Anurag and gang, your jobs are in danger!

6. K.K. Sharma

Needm it seems, is to recall what Edger Allen Poe had said long ago.

That is , " For forms of governments let fools contest; whatever is administered best is best"

7. Rituraj Sapkota
2. Who cares
wow, sir, i didnt read through everything you wrote but I sure appreciate the efforts you put in under every article.

"PS: I really hate myself for needing to use nepalitimes to express my views. but here are my points"
Why not start a blog of your own or write letters to the editors of national dailies instead? Just saying

8. Nirmal
Isn't it too hillarious when kangressi old boys and its crawlers fear of presidential system who spent whole their lives glued to the most powerful posts both in the party and government or opposition, who are now claiming that it could invite dictatorship? Ha ha ha ha. Well, this type of kangresi gospel doesn't go with their own characters. Soon, the NC will get even with the Maoists for all the mess it created for Nepali democracy, for having worked with the party who has yet to renounce the violence and letting them to hijack the whole political agenda, for having helped to generate the degrading political culture that has badly infected people's day to day lives, for having hesitated to implicate itself on the continous reform to renew nepali parliamentary democracy. The time has come for the kangresi netas to risk everything on one throw and I'm terribly excited to know its ultimate fate. Kangresi bandhu, the fish you wanted has full of bones and I heartly wish that you won by a mile, hihi haha and hihi haha and hihi haha and hihi haha.

9. Bishal S
Who cares said " as far as i know, US president is not directly elected by the people." 

If Who cares does not follow US politics, his ignorance is excused, but if he claims to know about the US electoral system and makes a public statement about it, he should at least get some basic information in order. If you thought people didn't directly vote for their president in the US, who did you think votes in that country? Aliens?    

10. ushaft
I thought the electoral college.

11. who cares
thanks for your sarcasm, support, advice, criticism- above comments.

fellow nepalese, please give 3min of your life to read this idea regarding future form of govt. of nepal:

if you like it please support it actively and share it with your friends and family and everyone. 

(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)