Nepali Times
From The Nepali Press
Solutions and responses

The king's recent remarks that appeared in his interview with Time fanned the flames that razed the country. He appears to be in no mood to reconcile with the political parties of the dissolved House of Representatives or to provide a solution to the current crisis. He shows no indication that he is ready to correct his unconstitutional move. The king seems to think he does not have enough power in a multiparty democracy and the present constitution.

I don't think he wants to be an absolute monarch. But the situation doesn't allow him to be an active monarch either. If their words are to be believed, the Indian government and leaders of the political parties are for a constitutional monarchy and the multiparty system.

I have always been a well-wisher of the king: as prime minister, I tried to accommodate many of his interests. I was criticised for doing that. The king desired the prestige that came with his monarchy. I gave utmost importance to that but his real desire is now apparent-to become an active king. I didn't realise that till I was sacked.

The Maoists have not accepted the existence of other political parties. Even if the latter showed their willingness to deal with the rebels, the Maoists continue to physically attack people associated with the parties. They have not shown their commitment to democracy, so there is no way we can join hands with them. We'd rather go with the king. But that alliance is not going to be at the cost of the parties' principles and values. But if the Maoists show they are committed to democracy and give up violence, we could join them too.

The king doesn't gain by blaming the parties. After all, we are Nepalis. In a democracy, it is common to see the positive and negative aspects of political leaders. The people can punish them. Some say there have been no leaders in Nepal. So, should we import our leaders? We make mistakes, but they can be corrected.

Article 127 was meant to clear hurdles, not add complications. Constitutional experts and drafters of the constitution have reasons to say that the king violated that constitutional provision when he made his move on 4 October 2002. True, I failed to hold elections on time. I accept my mistake. All the parties had recommended that the elections be postponed so I had little choice in the matter.

I am not sorry for dissolving the House of Representatives. That was my compulsion. I consulted Girija Prasad Koirala on extending the state of emergency and he had no problem with it at the time. I also brought the issue up in an all-party meeting, where again it was met with no opposition. But when the proposal was registered in the parliament, they demanded its withdrawal. How can national security be treated like that? Should they not have thought that the move would bring the morale of security agencies down? Moreover, the ruling party
should have helped the government. Instead, it created obstacles. The dissolution of the parliament was my own decision. The king was not involved.

During my recent meeting with the king, I proposed three ideas to resolve the present crisis. I told him that Girija Prasad Koirala was in favour of the restoration of parliament and that five parties are for an all-party government under the leadership of Madhab Kumar Nepal. I said that although my party's primary demand is the reinstatement of my government, I have no problems if the king agrees to the reinstatement of an all-party government. The king didn't react. He just listened.

(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)