Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Polarization Is A Good Thing

Consensus is a strange political concept. Frankly it is a Panchayati concept. Consensus was what the king wanted to happen.

2006 saw a polarization between the pro king and the anti king forces. That polarization was a good thing. Today the polarization is between the federalist forces and the anti federalist forces. This polarization is also a good thing.

Once a democratically legitimate government acquires the status of a caretaker government, that government stays in place until another elected government shows up to take its place. That is the democratic way.

The quickest way for the NC and the UML to get rid of Baburam Bhattarai is to speed up the elections and to do well in those elections.

But I think the NC and the UML know they are not going to do well at the polls. So to them political paralysis itself is achievement. Elections will mean federalism. But political paralysis means federalism is denied. And in paralysis they see victory.

It is not for a constitutional head like Ram Baran Yadav to make and break governments. It is for the political process to make that decision.

The reason the NC and the UML want Baburam to resign is because such a resignation would create something worse than the current political paralysis. It would create a political vacuum. And they want that. If political paralysis is bad for the cause of federalism, a political vacuum would be even a worse blow to that federalism. And they want that.

Baburam Bhattarai has been flexible. He has been open to inducting NC and UML people into the government. He has been open to giving the Home Ministry to the NC. Heck, he is still even open to resigning - something he is not required to do according to the constitution, but he could make such a political move if he wants, it is a free will thing - but his precondition is a valid one. First all the parties have to agree as to who will replace him, and then he will resign.

But that agreement is not happening.

And that begs the question. If Ram Baran Yadav is merely the Queen of England, and the executive power in the country rests with the Prime Minister, why did Ram Baran Yadav ever hold talks with political parties on so called consensus? The Queen of England does not hold political meetings. The president of India does not hold political meetings.

My conclusion is Ram Baran Yadav is solely responsible for the current political paralysis. It was and is his responsibility to pass the election related ordinances so that the Baburam Bhattarai government can hold elections in April 2013.

That really is the only legal, constitutional solution. That is how you break the gridlock.

Ram Baran Yadav was 100% a political person before he became president. If he had not become president he would have been a strong supporter of the anti federalist forces in the country today. This is a guy who badmouthed the Madhesi Kranti every step of the way. Yes, the biggest beneficiary of the Madhesi Kranti was one of its strongest opponents when it happened.

I think his current bad behavior as president is him acting like an anti federalist. A constitutional head is supposed to be politically neutral. He is not being neutral. In pushing the concept of consensus what he is doing is he is giving veto power to the NC and the UML, the two leading anti federalist factions in the country today.

This is wrong.

The anti-federalists hold a valid, democratic viewpoint. They are entitled to their worldview. But the legitimate step for them to take is to go to the people and seek their support to their worldview. Holding the country hostage is not how you do it. That can only make space for non democratic elements in the country if taken too far, the very forces that the Maoists, the Madhesis and the NC and the UML were united against in 2006.

Either Ram Baran Yadav should stop taking sides, or he is the one who needs to step aside.

Neither the NC nor the UML will cross the 10% mark among votes cast in the next elections. Together they will not get more than 20% of the seats. And that is why they want to drag their feet. They don't want elections to happen.

Mahantha Thakur For PM
A Non Political PM?
What Might The President Do?
The PM Resigning Would Be Weird
NC And UML At Fault
Ram Baran Yadav: Kasturi Mriga
The President, The Prime Minister
NC And UML Do Not Have Veto Power
Dahal's Capitulation Is Wrong
Baburam Bhattarai Will Conduct Elections
Ram Baran Yadav Is Not An Executive President
Why Federalism Bothers Ram Sharan Mahat (2)
Why Federalism Bothers Ram Sharan Mahat

PM candidate nowhere in sight
UCPN (Maoist) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal floated three names—Deputy Prime Ministers Narayan Kaji Shrestha and Bijay Kumar Gachhadar and Tarai Madhes Loktantrik Party Chairman Mahanta Thakur—all of whom were flat-out rejected by the opposition parties. .... “Chairman Prachanda is still against becoming prime minister. If top leaders from the NC and the UML want him to take the leadership then I think we can make him [Dahal] ready for the executive post”
Prez asks Dahal what to do if no consensus
UCPN (M) not to accept Cong at unity govt helm
Dahal has said that Deputy PMs Narayan Kaji Shrestha and Bijaya Kumar Gachhadar and Tarai Madhes Loktantrik Party Leader Mahantha Thakur are possible PM candidates from the coalition.Dahal is also learnt to have kept open the option of him standing as a PM candidate. However, this is only when agreement among the parties on the candidate looks virtually impossible and if the parties themselves request Dahal to lead a unity government
US magazine's praise for Nitish Kumar a publicity stunt: Lalu Prasad
Nepal's ex-prince was jailed for drug possession

Paras was caught with a woman
UML presses NC to pick PM candidate
PM threatens intervention in Patan Hospital
New PM only from ruling coalition: UCPN (Maoist)
"NC or UML can get prime minister´s post only after promulgation of the constitution. So, we don´t accept their prime minister now," Horibol Gajurel, UCPN (Maoist) Madhes bureau in-charge, told Republica. He also said NC and UML have no chance to lead national government because UCPN (Maoist) was the largest party in the then CA and also because the FDRA is in majority so an FDRA candidate will be prime minister if not Bhattarai himself or another UCPN (Maoist) leader. ..... "Why will we accept their candidate when they reject ours" ..... Vice-chairman and Deputy Prime Minister Narayankaji Shrestha is Bhattarai´s alternative. ..... "If our party is unable to head the consensus govenrment then either Deputy Prime Minister Bijaya Kumar Gachchhadar or Tarai-Madhes Democratic Party Chairman Mahantha Thakur will be the FDRA candidates for prime minister"
Today's NC CWC meeting to dwell on PM candidate
कांग्रेसलाई प्रष्ट हुन् गच्छदारको आग्रह
अग्रगमन र पश्चगमन बीचको लडाई : प्रधानमन्त्री
ठाकुर र कोइरालाबीच भेटघाट
मिथिलाञ्चलमा मुहर्रमको धुन

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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Mahantha Thakur For PM

The Maoists will not agree to any NC or UML person. The NC and the UML will not agree to any Maoist name. But none of those three parties have said they will not agree to the Mahantha Thakur name. Perhaps efforts should be made to get all parties to coalesce around the Mahantha Thakur name.
Prez to extend deadline if parties fail to forge consensus
Five days on, consensus on new prime ministerial candidate remains elusive as ruling parties have rejected to give government leadership to both Nepali Congress and CPN-UML, the two main opposition parties. The ruling UCPN (Maoist) has announced that they were ready to offer alternative candidate from within the ruling alliance if there was no consensus on Baburam Bhattarai, but not ready to give away leadership to the opposition parties.
UML rejects Maoists leading new govt

Nepal has 26m plus people
Koirala lobbies for PM post, Poudel dismayed
Prez can't exercise executive power on his own: PM
Delineation of election constituencies is not a big deal: EC
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Sunday, November 25, 2012

A Non Political PM?

The NC and the UML will stay opposed to the Baburam name, as that of any other Maoist. And the Maoists will not accept any NC person for the same. Prachanda's push for the Mahantha Thakur name is interesting but not serious. He knows the NC and the UML will not go for it. That might be Prachanda's way of further cementing his alliance with the Madhesi parties.

The president says he will not take over. I think we might be heading towards a non political person leading a team of technocrats. It was done once successfully in Bangladesh.

Who might that be? Devendra Raj Pandey?

Hectic consultations in Nepal to elect new PM
Call for consensus PM unconstitutional: Cabinet
The consensus myth
Prez's move positive: Rana
I will step in after Nov 22: Prez to parties
Put bar on PM's undemocratic activities: Deuba to Prez
Dahal‚ Baidhya back Thapa for new PM

Cabinet can't judge my moves: Prez
Dahal treading lightly amid Prez-PM tussle
Maoist leaders also say Dahal is almost sure that chances of striking a political understanding to form a consensus government under Bhattarai's leadership is almost nill and that the party should mull over another alternative within the current coalition. “Another candidate from the UCPN (Maoist) other than PM Bhattarai is not possible because it will create a rift inside the party,” said another leader close to Dahal. To avoid intra-party rift, Dahal is likely to support a candidate from Madhes-based parties.
Who will be Congress’ PM candidate?
PM passes stalemate buck on oppn
सयकडौं नेता तथा कार्यकर्ता सद्भावना पार्टीमा प्रवेश
महन्थ ठाकुरको नेतृत्वमा चुनावी सरकार गठन गर्नुपर्छ : भण्डारी
आखिर टुक्रियो एमाले, राई अध्यक्ष, अन्सारी उपाध्यक्ष
Thapa as PM can end impasse: Baidya to Dahal

UCPN (Maoists) ask NC, UML to bring proposal, PM candidate
President's move unconstitutional: FDRA
President defends his move
Long winter
Prez move spawns intra-party rift in ruling Maoists

Prez call divides political forces
In absolute silence
Nepal likely to figure prominently in China's foreign policy
Baidya for roundtable conference
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Friday, November 23, 2012

What Might The President Do?

English: Mr. Baburam bhattarai the 35th Prime ...
English: Mr. Baburam bhattarai the 35th Prime Minister of Nepal. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I think he is gearing up to take over. That might not be bad news. In India they call it president's rule when the Governor of a state takes over. Something like that is about to happen in Nepal. The president will take over and lead a cabinet of non political people to conduct elections to a new assembly in April 2013. That is a decent roadmap.

The less controversial step would be the deadline passes and the president says the current caretaker government is now the election government. That will allow him to pass election related ordinances.

Both are good options. Direct rule by the president until April will not be dictatorial.

The deadline will come and go. And the president will step in.

Nepal President wants consensus Premier in a week
The president has given parties a deadline of November 29, 4 pm, to come up with consensus. ...... Soon after the term of the CA ended on May 27, the president had ‘relieved’ the PM of his ‘post’, on the grounds that he was no longer a member of the legislature-parliament. But the president had asked the PM to continue performing his duties till another government was constituted. ..... this was like the October 4, 2002 move of King Gyanendra when he dismissed an elected PM for failing to hold elections. “The interim constitution does not give the president any such right. He has to act on the recommendation of the Council of Ministers, which has the responsibility of finding consensus.”
Prez gives 7-day deadline for parties to find consensus PM
President Yadav had reduced Prime Minister Bhattarai, who announced fresh CA election for November 22, to a caretaker after the CA was dissolved on May 27 as per the Supreme Court verdict. The president´s move comes at a time when the opposition parties have been demanding that the president set a deadline for the parties to form a national consensus government as per the Article 38 (1). ..... the president will have to either pick an independent leader as head of a neutral election government or end the process without any result and let the present government continue ...... it will turn out to a blessing in disguise for Baburam Bhattarai.
EC demands amendment of constitution, laws for election
According to the EC, officials met President Yadav at Seetal Niwas in the evening and Prime Minister Bhattarai in the morning at his office at Singhadurbar and also requested them to fix the exact date for the voting.
The road ahead
Road to prosperity
The acclaimed historian Niall Ferguson, backed by extensive narrative of the last 600 years, writes in his brilliant book Civilization: West and the Rest, that the Western countries, prior to the threshold year 1500, were much behind the civilization of the East. Since then, particularly after renaissance and reformation, the Western civilization developed values based on individual freedom, private property, and rule of law and free trade, which led to its ascendancy over much superior regimes of the East.
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