Samacharpatra, 3 June
Twenty months after the king dismissed Sher Bahadur Deuba and his government, he has been reappointed prime minister. This startling decision is a paradox: on the one hand, the king appears to be rectifying 'regression' by restoring the same prime minister he sacked for incompetence. On the other, it looks like a continuation of the Surya Bahadur Thapa government because Deuba was appointed in the same non-democratic basis as his predecessor. No matter what the political parties say, public opinion favours the king's action, given that the major leaders were unable to come up with any of their candidates for the post. There may be politicians who bear personal grudges against Deuba, a few who are too proud to accept him as prime minister but it is time to set aside differences and work with the government to ensure a strong parliament for the sake of the nation and people. This is a chance to end the animosity between the king and parties. In a way, the pre-October Fourth situation has been restored with the return of Deuba's government. Now the question is should we support him and think ahead for 2004 or protest and push ourselves back to pre-1990?
Spacetime, 3 June
The king directed Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba to work with the major political parties to form a ministerial cabinet and hold general elections for the House of Representatives by year end. It is a tough challenge for Deuba, whose cabinet was dismissed earlier for being unable to fulfil his pledge to hold elections because of the Maoist insurgency in 2002. The situation hasn't changed. As a matter of fact, things are worse today and unless the government brings peace and provides more security to the people, elections will be impossible. At present there is no government presence in most of villages. Its reach goes no further than the capital and other urban centres. The new ministerial cabinet could face the same fate as the last one, which was unable to solve the nation's mounting problems.
Janadharana, 3 June
The people's predictions came true: they suspected that the street agitation led by the five parties was just a ploy to have a hand in a new government. They didn't trust the parties who said they were fighting for the people's sovereignty. Disunity fractured the fragile co-operation among the major anti-'regression' parties, although for a time, the people also saw Girija Prasad Koirala getting along with his rival Madhab Kumar Nepal. It was quite surprising because Koirala is not a very amiable leader-we haven't forgotten his disrespect towards the late Ganesh Man Singh. He also undermined the status of KP Bhattarai and failed to maintain good relations with Sher Bahadur Deuba, who regarded Koirala as his mentor. As for Madhab Nepal, most of his cadre did not trust Koirala's professed friendship with the communist leader. Nepal has shifted loyalties now from Koirala to Deuba, having decided that the UML has little to gain from the Congress at this juncture.