Leading Articles

Political stability and change in government

Prime Minister Khadga Prasad Sharma Oli had a scary moment following the political development on Wednesday. Leading partner in the coalition government UCPN (Maoist) and its Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal (Prachanda) proposed to become the prime minister putting Oli-led government in a precarious position. Oli must have known the shaky ground he was standing on while forming the government seven months ago but he had probably not expected to be toppled at the time when he was about to introduce the government’s policies and programmes and announce the annual budget. But a clever political player like Oli must have known that his government could anytime be ousted from power once the coalition partner withdraws its support. Prachanda is hungry for power and with Nepali Congress’s commitment to support him for the prime minister he wants to ascend the throne even if his party has been reduced to a third position in the second Constituent Assembly elections. But the efforts to build another coalition will push the country to further political instability.

Transitional system has limited converted parliament’s date to 21 January 2018. In this situation Prachanda and other power-hungry leaders are in a pathetic situation. It is clear that there is a risk of all achievements turning into void unless parliamentary elections within that date with ‘federal’ structure set up. Should that situation arise all political parties and powers should take responsibility for ruining the future of Nepali people.

UCPN (Maoist) itself is part of the government and it cannot charge the government of doing nothing. Home Ministry with responsibility of maintaining law and order and Ministry of Commerce and Supplies that should oversee unrestricted supply of petroleum products are run by ministers from UCPN (Maoist). Rather than asking them to fulfill their duties the party has heaped anathema on Oli government. Prachanda should justify this step to the public. Failing to do that would make us conclude that Prachanda’s party is anxious with fear for being subject to investigation by Truth and Reconciliation Commission and Commission of Investigation on Enforced Disappeared Persons and it wants to ascend to power to withdraw conflict-era cases pending in the court in the name of peace process. But the seasoned leader with a revolutionary image should not take this path. Indian babus seem to have incited Prachanda to topple this government to prolong political instability which he must resist.