Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Change in government


Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli has shown maturity in resigning from his post at the end of his address to the parliament after facing the no-confidence motion. He deserves accolades for taking the uncomplicated path in murky national politics. It was obvious that had the no-trust motion been taken to voting process, political polarization would have increased at unwanted level.

After main coalition partner NCP (Maoist Centre) withdrew support to KP Oli-led government, the coalition government came into precarious position. Oli had two other alternatives apart from resignation: taking vote of confidence from the House or face the no-trust motion. Initially, Oli opted for the third alternative. But he did not let the process reach voting process and submitted his resignation to President Bidya Devi Bhandari before votes could be cast against him. Later, Speaker Onsari Gharti read out the letter received from the Office of the President in the parliament and brought this episode to an end. Had Oli taken the voting route, he had to be removed from his post and it would have been morally difficult for him to remain in the leadership of his party after being gracelessly removed in such manner.

While responding to the motion, Oli logically recounted the achievements during his tenure of nine months. Initial challenges in implementation of constitution, protests by Terai-based parties and impacts of India's blockade on Nepal became the subjects of his address. Even the opposition parties have not taken exception to Oli's achievements in inking trade and transportation agreement with China during his state visit to that country. But Nepal has to wait for a while to take advantage of the alternative route because it takes time to prepare physical infrastructure like roads in difficult geographical regions. Whatever the case, his efforts have created base for lessening excessive dependence on India.

The constitution that courted controversy at the very beginning has become more complex after Oli's resignation. Hurry made in promulgating a piece of document at any cost has created different types of lacunae and lack of clarity. Series of amendments immediately after promulgation of the constitution have made it clear that those holding fate of 28 million Nepalis lack a long-term vision. After Oli's resignation, some lawyers and constitution experts gave ridiculous arguments that there is no provision for choosing another prime minister in the constitution. This spurious suggestion seems to have befuddled Oli himself and he talked about it in his response. Some other experts were talking about taking this issue to the court. But political issues like these should be resolved through mutual dialogues and healthy competition. They should not be taken to court. Worryingly, promulgators of constitution deliberately provided a space for controversy.

Replacing a communist government with another communist party will satiate the power-hungry lot. Expecting more is meaningless.