26 July-1 August 2013 #666

Democratic deficit


It is an indication of just how defensive and insecure the political parties have become that they lashed out the way they did this week at ex-King Gyanendra’s visit to distribute flood relief in western Nepal. The former king is no saint, but the parties are just exposing their weakness and trying to hide their lack of performance in the past six years by threatening to put the ex-king in jail. On the other hand, the breakaway Baidya-Maoist wing is taunting the parent party by threatening an improbable alliance with Gyanendra.

No political party in Nepal today can boast of a credible and stable leadership that deserves public vote of trust. The Nepali Congress has been embroiled in an intra-party feud between Koirala and non-Koirala factions for more than a decade now. The UML has its own ideological and political disorientation to cope with after the exclusive all-Bahun leadership led to an exodus of Madhesi and Janajati leaders last year. The Madhesi Front is also enmeshed in a facade of unity amidst squabbling over leadership. But the party which is undergoing the biggest political crisis at the moment is the UCPN-Maoists. The only thing the High Level Political Mechanism has been able to give the people is a high level of cynicism.

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