Friday, March 1, 2024

Political jugglers

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Only seven months have passed since we had general elections. But almost all major political parties have started talking of next elections in 2027. Parties are preparing themselves as if the election is very much at the corner.

Nepali Congress, the largest party in the parliament, is talking of party reform, re-structuring and re-organization. These issues have been put on the floor with an eye on the elections. The leaders have already announced in public that the party is not going to form electoral alliance in the next elections and they plan to contest on their own. Why the party has to declare this now when, in fact, the elections are to be held more than four years down the road?

CPN-UML, second largest party in the parliament, is literally out in the field wooing potential voters. UML leaders are determined to form majority government post elections 2027. The party is busy implementing grassroots mobilization program and membership drive.

Maoist party, which is already heading the coalition government, is no less behind. Leaders could be seen busy announcing this or that front- socialist front, communist front or ex-Maoist front. They also say now and then about forming majority government after next elections.

Rastriya Swatantra Party, the fourth largest party, is vocal about forming government in 2027. The leaders are so cocksure of their government that they have already identified who is going to head the government; who will be their artha mantri etc. No need mentioning their names, readers can easily imagine their faces.

What about Rastriya Prajatantra Party, the fifth largest party? Honestly speaking, I don’t see it coming to power after next elections. What I see is their determination to re-instate abolished monarchy through mass movement and street demonstration, if not through referendum. They are reported to be “re-branding” their party as if “they can fool all people all time”.  Their pseudo leader is out there in India to garner Hindu support. Given the tarnished image due to infamous palace massacre and hooliganism in the past, they do need a kind of dramatic rebranding.

Smaller political parties like Janamat Party, Nagarik Unmukti Party, CPN-US, LSP, JSP, RJM and NMKP are the ones which have not said anything about elections in 2027. Probably, they know about their limitations. Therefore, they are pre-occupied with their agenda like identity politics, inclusion, and federalism through street demonstrations or through tacit political maneuvering.

What could be the implied meaning? Maybe the political parties do not believe that the current parliament is not going to have a full five-year term. Flash polls are inevitable in spite of the fact that, through court verdicts as well as constitutional arrangement, all possible forms of government, mentioned in Article 76.1 through 76.6, need to be exhausted. The full five-year term of the parliament is near guaranteed unless parties deliberately agree to deviate.  

The other possibility could be that there are serious cracks and cleavages taking place within almost all prominent political parties and they want to divert or deflect the issue by focusing on general elections, howsoever, distant they may be. It could also be true that they want to compensate for the poor performance they achieved in the last general elections and fool the voters and their cadres.

Nepali people are much obsessed with India's general elections next year. Who knows the parties may be preparing for polls with an eye in neighboring country's elections? Common people can remain mere spectators to the feats of political jugglers.

Published on 22 May 2023     

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