Nepali Times
My Take
Give and take


Jhala Nath Khanal's days as prime minister seem to be numbered. If indications from leaders of the Unified Communist Party of Nepal, the Nepali Congress and the CPN-UML are real, we shall soon see a new government.

But would it be backed by a national consensus, which has been elusive since the election of the Constituent Assembly in 2008? Time will tell, but leaders say there is no other alternative.

Whether Khanal stays or goes is immaterial. In any case, he hasn't done anything so far to inspire confidence in his leadership. So the all-important question, again, is whether the two principal architects of the peace process since 2005, the NC and the Maoists, reach a consensus.

The NC has demanded, and rightly so, that the Maoists first deliver on their promises vis-a-vis a peace process without delaying the integration and rehabilitation of Maoist combatants. Also reasonable is the NC's insistence on a lateral agreement on the new constitution.

Supremacy of the constitution and constitutionality (against parliamentary supremacy), periodic elections, independence of the judiciary, free press and pluralism – plus, an apolitical national army – would guarantee a democratic constitution. There cannot be any compromise on these principles, however much the Maoists insist on diluting them.

The Maoist leadership believes that they have given too much but fail to acknowledge the successes of an abolished monarchy, an elected Constituent Assembly, and a secularised state. The leadership continues to sell to its cadre the impossible dream of complete revolution (a euphemism for state capture and one-party rule).

However, the NC, too, needs to make its own concessions. The form of governance need not be a Westminster-style parliament as the NC insists, arguing that a system of a directly-elected head of government would make the country more vulnerable to a one-party takeover. If the principles mentioned above are ensured, dictatorial ambitions can be foiled. And if watchdog institutions that ensure check and balance are weak, it wouldn't stop a party with authoritarian ambitions from being stupid.

The NC can also make a compromise on the electoral system. The NC has pressed for a first-past-the-post system (where a candidate with the highest number of votes in a constituency is elected) and has only grudgingly accepted the principle of proportional representation under a mixed electoral system.

But the truth is that some form of proportional representation would ensure that smaller parties are heard. Of course, there are risks. Recently, four lawmakers—lone representatives of their respective parties or independent—are attempting to paralyse parliament. But not doing so would only further fuel the disenchantment of smaller parties with the system.

The result of the recent elections in Singapore should be enough to quiet those who oppose a proportional representation system. The opposition there has managed to get nearly 40 per cent of the total votes cast and has only six seats (an improvement from past elections) in the 87-member parliament.

So in fact, the NC could demonstrate flexibility on the forms of government and its elections without compromising
the fundamentals of democracy.

1. Arthur
Of course the Congress can be "flexible" on proportional representation. It was only their stupidity that made them oppose it before when it was a concession made by the largest party (Maoists) that ensured adequate representation for the smaller parties (including Congress and UMLs as well as various Madheshi parties etc).

Even though angresis are incredibly stupid, they are not so stupid as to actually believe your surveys and STILL imagine that they the party with the largest support.

They were arrogant enough to believe it (and therefore oppose proportional representation) before the CA elections. But now they KNOW that they are among the smaller parties which benefit most from proportional representation.

But are they so stupid as to think that this sort of "concession" of abandoning their own worst stupidity is going to impress anyone that matters?

It could only impress impress somebody like Damakant Jayshi.

2. John
All three Maoist factions need to be able to declare victory of some sort to satisfy their faithful, many of whom shed blood for the goal of a people's republic. And all three factions believe that holding on to the leverage that the PLA and YCL provide is essential to get a constitution that's "good enough," even if it falls short of a complete revolution. That's the basic deadlock.

3. NepaliPundit
Arthur aka Dr. DK (israel to US citizen; now foreigner, forgot everything about Nepal as Nepali) aka Maodai (avatar while at Israel) pretends that he knows about Nepal through media, not as a former Nepali. He wants to avoid writing anything that connects to this previous avatar, because while getting the citizenship in US, you are bound to say that you were never communist (hardline?), and he knows that he lied while taking the US citizenship oath. He gives a lot of philosophies, ethical issues, but lets not forget that he is a liar. He is a modern day liar, who lies in the disguise of avatar like Arthur like "am not Nepali". Did he ever say that he was never a Nepali? Dr. DK aka Arthur aka Maodai, it is time to retire and come clean. Do you want me to file a written complain to Nepali embassy in US that you still hold property in Nepal, and have not surrendered Nepali Passport? Should I do that on your behalf? Don't misused forum to run your propaganda. If you have guts, come with real identity, and don't lie to people. You are just an egghead.


(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)