Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Maoists Must Vote To Extend The Term Of The Constituent Assembly By A Year

Dr. Ram Baran Yadav, the President of Nepal, s...Image via Wikipedia
If the constituent assembly is allowed to expire, the current government is gone, true. But that does not mean Prachanda becomes the next Prime Minister. Then the power goes to the president. The president gets to appoint a caretaker government. That caretaker government might or might not be the current government. Or we might have an executive presidency for a little while. That caretaker government would have a one point agenda, to hold elections to a new constituent assembly. In that assembly, the Maoists will very likely be a smaller party than they are today. It will still be a fragmented parliament. No party would have an outright majority. And we would be back to square one. There would still be need to put together a coalition to form a new government. There would still be need to put together working coalitions on specific items of the new constitution.

That is the best case scenario. In a bad case scenario you are looking at a worse law and order situation across the country than we already have. Already the leaders have made the mistake of not putting together all party governments at district and local levels. That vacuum leads to a weak law and order situation.

And there is a worst case scenario. A dissolution of the constituent assembly could be too much of a strain on the peace process, and we could be back to a civil war situation, only this time it might be more vicious than the last time. Honestly I don't think that is very likely.

But we don't have to see renewed civil war. An increase in political violence is a very real possibility, and that would be bad enough news.

This constituent assembly's life can not be held hostage to the fact that Prachanda wants to be Prime Minister again. Prachanda is not becoming Prime Minister again for the life of the constituent assembly. That is a foregone conclusion. If any Maoist leads a national unity government, that person is going to be Baburam Bhattarai. The Maoist central committee can decide who will lead the government if and when the Maoists have a majority of their own in the parliament. But for a national unity government all participating parties have to agree to the prime ministerial candidate. That person being Prachanda is highly unlikely. Actually there is no point in agreeing to Prachanda as the leader of that national unity government. Because Prachanda's asinine insistence that he is the only candidate shows he still does not understand how coalition governments run. That lack of understanding is what ended his last tenure as Prime Minister.

The Maoists have to agree to extend the term of the constituent assembly. And a package deal has to be reached. And a national unity government in Baburam Bhattarai's leadership has to be formed. That is the roadmap, but that roadmap starts with the term of the assembly being extended. The national unity government takes shape after that fact, not before.

And if the Maoists do not understand this, they are asking for an executive president in Ram Baran Yadav. Yadav would then lead a government that would hold elections to a new constituent assembly. That would be such a waste. The Maoists should not be so unreasonable and bring about that outcome.

Is Federalism Necessary?
Why Not To Fear The Maoists?
A Roadmap For The Maoists
The Maoists Have Won
The Maoists: Thinking Or Dogmatic?
An Appeal To The Maoists
Prachanda's Second Big Mistake?
The Peace Process Is At Its Most Fragile
Nepal Seeing Major Political Crisis
A 10 Party Government In Baburam Bhattarai's Leadership
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