There are now only 100 days to go for elections. The Election Commission and Parties say they are looking at the security, budget and technical aspects of the polls. Even so, the conditions for elections are not being created. There are three reasons for this.First, efforts to defuse the madhes andolan have come not achieved results. Second, there is still uncertainty about the delays in addressing janajati demands. And the third is the behaviour of the Maoists. This week, the Maoists roughed up the Dolakha district administrator. Then there are the behind-the-scenes activities of the palace, army or religious groups that have trying to sow uncertainty about elections. If these three problems are addressed, the other issues will resolve themselves. But time is running out.
The eight parties need to immediately go hand-in-hand in creating conditions for elections. They must have a high-level meeting right away on the madhes and the janajatis. The Maoists' job is to assure the country that it will curb its violent behaviour.
Only after this will things like low police morale be addressed. Recently in New York, UNMIN's Ian Martin said: 'There has to be cooperation between the parties right down to the local level. Even if it is just to raise the morale of the police force, this cooperation is necessary so that voters can be protected from intimidation."