Nepali Times
Takes two to tango


For those who have given up hope on Nepal, President Ram Baran Yadav stands out as a symbolic bulwark against dictatorship, disintegration and disharmony. The fact that the son of an ordinary farmer from Mahottari, and a lifelong freedom fighter, should one day rise up to be Nepal's head of state is itself a sign of how far we have come.

But President Yadav is an improbable personality to wear that mantle. He became president by fluke four years ago because Girija Prasad Koirala and Pushpa Kamal Dahal were so busy trying to stab each other in the back for the job that they cancelled each other out. Yadav himself was at first reluctant and awkward in his new office, and immediately embroiled himself in controversy by reinstating an army chief that Prime Minister Dahal had removed.

But Yadav has matured on the job. Even though in private he is said to have a quick temper, and is not averse to using explicit Maithili expletives when he is not within earshot of the media, in public Yadav projects the persona of a patient guardian. He is not the most scintillating speaker, tends to ramble a bit especially when reminiscing about his good old days with BP, but everywhere he goes in Nepal, there is genuine affection and respect for this farmer's son. People spontaneously throng to shake his hand, and throw flowers at his feet.

Part of this esteem stems from the regard people have for the office of president, which replaced the monarchy as the symbol of national unity. The other is a result of Yadav's careful adherence to the rules of his office. But what can't be discounted is the support he gathered by not joining the opportunist bandwagon to play identity politics and defecting to Madhesi parties in 2007. The Madhesi parties may scoff at him and call him a "traitor", but wherever he goes in the plains there is genuine outpouring of support from people for one of their own who has risen to the highest position in the land. His own colleagues in the NC are envious of the public support he commands.

In the post-27 May vacuum, President Yadav's every move is carefully watched for signs of the steps he may be contemplating. Some openly urge him to declare Presidential Rule, others criticise him for over-stepping his mandate by giving Prime Minister Bhattarai a hard time. But in reality, the president has been restrained, patient, and playing a behind-the-scene role in finding a solution to the current impasse.

Those who think President Yadav is going to do a Gyanendra can think again. What he has done quite successfully is to clip Bhattarai's wings by reminding him repeatedly that he is a caretaker, and to be picky about what he signs into ordinance.

Yadav is tempted to give Bhattarai an ultimatum on setting up a government of national unity, but he knows that the deadline will not stick. Being a former Kangresi, he understands the psychology of the hate-triangle between Poudel, Deuba and Koirala very well. Bhattarai knows this as well, and he is using the rivalry within the NC to linger on in government.

Anything a ceremonial president does now will be legally iffy, and whatever a caretaker prime minister does will be constitutionally questionable. Only decisions that President Yadav and Prime Minister Bhattarai take jointly will have legitimacy. It takes two to tango, and the good news is both Yadav and Bhattarai have grudgingly come to accept this.

1. SS

2. sonam tsering
Ram Baran Yadav is no different than a Deuba or a Poudel. He is as corrupted asall the Kangresis are ! W T F ..... did notthis Ram Baran sign a stupid ordinance so that he and gangs of criminalscould enjoy andlive in luxury forever while the people are starving in villages in Tarai. Get this straight, editors of N T, there is NO Nepali politicans that is decentand moral. All these beggars come to power and loot the Treasury. Until we can fry the fish like a Dahal or Bhattarai or Nepal, nothing will change. The loot willget worse day by day. You can write that in gold.

3. Nirmal
Heroism aside, what kind of actions can we expect from both apart from their usual rhetoric of holding CA election and calling for consensus between big netas? who can ensure us that both caretaker PM and caretaker President could think outside of the box? How can we guarantee that the decisions that they might take jointly can have a bearing on the political approach that holds the capacity to take the country out of the current labyrinth? This situation --never ending transitional period-- demands FAR REACHING DECISIONS and I don't think they are tall enough to engage themselves in such a task. One thing is to wish and another thing is to happen. The four years of CA has told us many home truths and have shown us what each political actor has within.

4. 7
Is this a school project? Where has journalism come to?!

5. Rekha Shrestha

Come on NT, have you sold your soul or did Dahal also buy you out. Show some freaking guts, lets read some real news, not gossip, man. I think you are spending more time drinking whisky or whatever you drink than fighting for just cause and people. I thought that the Pen was mightier than a Sword, maybe you are an exception to that. 

6. sameer
It is good to remind everyone that not everything and everyone has to be catered to satisfy those who come to love loud, confrontational, and juicy news and issues.   This president has been a blessing for Nepal and Nepalis.  Can you imagine having Prachand as President?  OMG! Thank god...  Keep up the good work Prez...  At least one person needs to be sane in a Banana State called New Nepal.  Thanks for the editorial...  He has set a very high standard for the office. We lucked out on this one.   Otherwise, people like greedy Girija, foxy Prachand, and corrupt Madhesis, by now Nepal would have been either sold to India or plunged into a civil war.         

Thank you Prez...

7. Peter khaling
It is already proven that Maoists fooled the people and made lofty promises to lure people to revolt and oust the monarchy but now the Maoist have no intention to fulfill the promises made nor to eradicate poverty .tjeir agenda is to hold on to power and get rich richer than kings prachanda is alleged to have bank acconts in Swiss banks 
Their true motive is exposed 
And ram bbaran yadhav is no saint 

8. who cares
double thumbs up to " 6. sameer" and mr.president. 

"Yadav himself was at first reluctant and awkward in his new office, and immediately embroiled himself in controversy by reinstating an army chief that Prime Minister Dahal had removed."

===== why do some individuals, who present themselves as democrat, keep on bringing it as negative decision, instead of presenting as the right, bold, timely decision since ------ some maoists including agent puspa has already said that they tried to captured govt., state a few times after coming into open politics?

what president did was as per his jurisdiction. only mistake he made was  he choose some wrong words.

9. Dinesh Acharya
There will be no election in November. Baburam must be happy with this result. Unless he quits, no one is capable of throwing him out. Not too long ago, Makuneey resigned, but stayed as PM for many months, due to the bickering. If Nepali expect this criminally motivated leaders to do something good, think again. Does Ram Baran have the balls to fire BRB, or does the Army have the  guts to declare a Military Rule. Not really, for they are cowards, they are mixed in it together with the Netas and thus are busy with the free fall in the looting. Because Koirala and Dahal and Bhattarai and Nepal do not get along, all of Nepal has to suffer. This is called Bull Shit. We should destroy  anything that stands in the way of peace and prosperity in Nepal. 4 or 5 people do not make a Nation, and 4 or 5 people can be easily sacrificed for the sake of millions.

10. John Kelleher
Now, this one made me smile.  Ex-Kingji makes a bit too much noise, so the Times dutifully rolls out this saccharine little piece on the surrogate Shri Panch.  Predictable, but not wholly unjustified.  Yadav is well-regarded, and it isn't difficult to discern the reasons why.  The blunt-spoken, unpretentious President is a refreshing contrast to the ridiculous arrogance and criminal incompetence of the garden-variety neta jis.  

But I'm afraid the editorial truly strains credibility when it refers to Yadav's office as the institution "which replaced the monarchy as the symbol of national unity."  Let's leave aside the fact that this office was cobbled out of thin air via two slapdash amendments to the Interim Constitution by the terminally dysfunctional and now-defunct CA.  Let's leave aside the truly unedifying political horse-trading and fractious squabbling that animated the selection of Nepal's first President and VP.  Let's even leave aside the fact that a sizable proportion of the Nepali populace doesn't even seem to believe that the aforementioned "replacement" was even necessary, as illustrated by a poll this very same paper ran recently in its online edition.

Instead, let's focus on something a bit more obvious: Nepal's President was not actually elected by the people whose unity he is purported to represent.  If the editorial's premise is that the President represents "how far we have come" since the bad old days of the monarchy, how exactly does that reasoning work?

11. Akhilesh jha
The panchayat fell after thirty years the world watched the downfall of the soviet empire .communism is deleted from the world .this shit ideology must be erased from Nepal and it will go away it has already planted seeds of its demise.prachande made false promises to the people and put the blame on opposition.noone asked him to resign his registration proves his incompetence he is competent on killing people and telling lies.

12. Kamal
Dirty filthy politics i sthe way of life for Nepalis. No economic devlopement, no employment, only bickering and finger pointing. We deserve this for choosing the leaders we have.  

13. Danny Birch
The Shah dynasty unified Nepal. The country was unified from among a large number of feuding ethnic states. How can you imagine that this joke of an institution has replaced the monarchy as the symbol of national unity? The so-called "democracy" is presiding over a disintegration of the nation into feuding ethnic groups and regions. I am not certain even if this president knows how to speak Nepali correctly. What have you guys been smoking?

(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)