We could soon have three parallel governments in Nepal-one installed by the palace, one by the Maoists and now, another convened by the major political parties to represent the dissolved parliament. The first two are backed by military power, while the third enjoys the support of the public and democratic forces.
On 28 May, the people's representatives sat at a meeting to decide on how best to resuscitate the parliament. The Nepali Congress (D), Sher Bahadur Deuba's party that was conspicuous in its absence, could be held responsible for the current tangle. It encouraged regression that led to the October Fourth move which allowed the palace to step in. Given the unpopularity of the NC(D), it isn't strange that its prominent members are abandoning the party like rats from a sinking ship.
In the meantime, public curiosity and exultation surrounding the emergence of the Maoist leaders is slowly waning. It's possible the rebel leaders themselves are feeling the change in momentum. Even the media no longer considers them very newsworthy.
The unfolding national situation shows us one thing: politics is volatile and hostilities extend from schools to the parliament. Despite the rhetoric about multiparty democracy and constitutional monarchy, the Panchas of pre-democracy have been standing in the wings ever since the royal move. King Gyanendra's interference surely could not have come as a surprise to the political parties who profess experience and dedication to democracy. The least they can be accused of is turning a blind eye, thereby failing to act promptly.
The haste with which Deuba evacuated his official Prime Ministerial residence after being summarily sacked by the king is an indication of the little faith he had in the people to reclaim their sovereignty-either by keeping him there or ousting him out themselves. If Taranath Ranabhat had any allegiance to multiparty democracy he would not have mocked the system by accepting official invitations as Speaker of the defunct House of Representatives. The fact that the agitating political parties have now turned to him for legitimacy is illogical.
The Chand government, limited to Singha Darbar, has become harsher towards the political parties while offering the Maoists more flexibility. Both workers and leaders have quite literally been battered since 4 May.
Where this road will lead is anybody's guess. As things stand, there is little reason to hope for a positive outcome. The people should be the decisive power, but after years of disappointment in the system and demoralised by the conflict, they will need a major catalyst to stir them into reclaiming what is rightfully theirs.