Nepali Times
Slapstick politics

Politics in Nepal is so stuck that when it does move, it does so in fits and starts. The president passes a budget that isn't a budget because to oppose it would mean that the country's economy would grind to a halt. Not that the country is going anywhere, but not having even a partial budget now would have created an even more unholy economic mess than we are in at the moment.

The opposition strategy was to make the budget a bargaining chip in negotiations over leadership of an election government. But the wily Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai called their bluff. No politician, in the final analysis, wants to be seen opposing a budget that feeds salaries and allowances to the state system. Not even the president could afford to do that.

So the opposition winked to Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal to take their private acceptance of a two-third budget to the president on condition that he (Dahal) would get Prime Minister Bhattarai to step aside. We get the feeling that the NC and the UML, out of desperation, doth protest too much. Dahal, whose animus towards Bhattarai is well known, was willing to mediate. It was a face-saving device all around. So the budget was passed in the nick of time before the president could have legally pushed Bhattarai out for failing to hold elections as scheduled on 22 November, and failing to set a new date. You with us so far?

Elections have been announced, but no date has been set, which essentially gives Bhattarai open terrain to carry on for the foreseeable future as caretaker. At this rate he can ensure that there is a deadlock in negotiations with the NC and UML by refusing to step down till mid-December, the Election Commission deadline to organise elections by May 2013. In that case, he will remain lame duck for the whole of 2013. The opposition, for its part, is so paralysed by paranoia that it has handed the prime minister victory on a platter by making his resignation a single-point agenda, and having no Plan B. This no-I-won't-yes-you-will deadlock benefits only Bhattarai because he can keep blaming the NC for being obstinate and holding up elections.

It's not that our PhD prime minister is exceedingly smart, it's just that the NC is exceptionally daft. It's central committee is so polarised that the NC is in effect two parties. It cannot come up with a candidate to replace Bhattarai, and it doesn't have a proactive vision for the country that would be an alternative to the prime minister's agenda. And most importantly, the NC is fielding the same discredited batsmen, and not bringing out its agile and dynamic hitters. Forget the quarrel over who gets to be prime minister, even as an election campaign strategy this is a blunder.

It no longer suffices to say we can't let Bhattarai continue because he will cheat, what we really want to know is how is the opposition going to prevent that by staying out of government? It is no longer enough to say that the Maoists are out to grab power when the only way to prevent that is to pave the way for elections by joining an interim-government.

The so-called 'leaders' of our country don't seem to have learnt from the stinging slaps on the cheeks they have got. The whacks on the faces of Messrs Khanal, Koirala, and now Dahal, are symbolic reminders to the party bosses about the outrage the public and their own cadre feel about their behaviour.

The country has no stomach for another agitation. The NC and UML are badly advised if they think the people will spontaneously pour out into the streets to oust Bhattarai. They want our bickering politicos to sort out their quarrels, agree on an all-party election government, and hold polls in six months time and let the chips fall where they may. Is that too much to ask?

See also:
Snakes and ladders

1. Gheo Chaku Naran
All-party election government- PM by Lotto.
Let all parties in the last Constituent Assembly be represented by one and only one candidate; that also by their Supremo numero uno or no2 or no.3 or no. 4 not any more less than them,say by PKD, MKN, JNK, etc.
Cabinet can thus be created.
Prime Minister should then be decided by Bagyajuddha -chittha/ lotto. So this deadlock can be solved .

2. John
Nobody is honest and competent. Nobody cares about the Nepali people. Nobody is a real statesman.

Vote for Nobody!

3. Nirmal
After Dr. Ram Baran Yadav ordered to practise all neccessary procedures to certify the clinical death of  Dr. Baburam Bhattarai's sarkaar which has been suffering the loss of brain oxygenation since the CA demised, we could only hope -unfortunately- for either the continuation of same politics under the anesthetic or heading toward the state of dead-end politics as the current symptoms suggest. It would be naive to think that the President's  move would cure the illness of nepali politics as there is no any disease curable for those cursed patients who don't give a damn to what has been suggested for the greater good.

4. Pushpa Lal Shrestha
Its disgusting to read every day, how the criminal Maoist are ruling Nepal ghetto style !  26 million Nepalis  against a handful of criminals from the 4 big political gangs. Baburam is blessed by Mahadev Himself to have puny and pitiful opposition like Deuba or Koirala or Khanal...or any idiot. The people must wake up, slap a few more Netas and put them in jail. If Nepalis think that these old men or these shamless men will take Nepal forward, they will be waiting for a long time.  India is also blame for this rotten mess in Nepal for without Indian blessings, no nepali neta can take one step. I think we need another janandolan, really bad.

5. bhimraj gurung
Any number of changes in the govt is not going to bring any change in the chaotic condition of the country; infact it will add fuel to fire. The same leaders have to first thrash out the outstanding points. Enough discussions have been carried out by one and all. Requirement now is come out with the solution ! Minimum number of top leaders to get together to finalise the issues.One thing should be borne in mind that "Too many cooks spoil the broth" !

6. Dambar Gurung
Nepal has a sorry bunch of looser as leaders. Men that started out as beggars are now living the life of a king with total disregard for the people. Take a good look at Dahal. Is this type of man Nepalis want or need to lead them. Bhattarai, who loves India more than Nepal, what can a poor Nepali man expect from a traitor like him. Other so called leaders are spineless cowards, that have betrayed the Nepali people over and over again.  Kathmandu is not Nepal nor does it represent the dreams and aspirations of 26 million Nepalis. Kathmandu has become a nest of criminals and looters and traitors. If we want change, then we must bring that outside of Kathmandu. The Bahuns have benifted the most from the chaos and have been leading by lying each day. Dahal lies to Nepalis everyday. Its time for another class, a Gurung or a Limbu, a real Nepali to take the reins. We must wake up from  nightmare ! There is not even 1 second to waste.           

7. Suresh Panta
We replaced one dictator ( Gyanendra ), with numerous new dictators. The lying and cheating Netas make the x King look like a Saint. Why do we continue with this dismal conditions. Just the way Gyanendra was replaced, we should get rid of current gangs of traitors. If Nepal has real Nepali leader this can happen, if not India will continue to rule Nepal with its servants like Bhattarai or Maakuney or Koirala. They are all the same, only filling their own coffers, rest of Nepal can rot in hell. Really, is there no hope for Nepalis. Will we always live in darkness and with shortages, while our leaders live the lives of Emperors. Why do Nepali janata just take everything lying down.   

8. Paul Krugman
I don't think that Nepalis can govern Nepal. Why not give a teka to a country that knows how to do it? My country could bring development to Nepal much quicker than the goons who are currently in power. Think about it!

9. Danny Birch
All of them are totally corrupt and selfish. None of them cares about Nepal's present or future. To write  intellectual articles that try to portray any of them at all as responsible, reasonable people who have any legitimacy 
is an excercise in utter folly. You can't seriously think that any of these parties has the good of the nation or the people at heart, can you? It's just unbelievable. When has any party or any leader done anything that gives any reason for anyone to take them at all seriously. They are all crooks and terrorists, plan and simple. Bring back Gyanendra.

(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)