Back into a routine (of sorts) at work. Meanwhile there is another seemingly routine activity going on…the singular inability of the politicians of Nepal to deliver a workable consitution, a prime minister and indeed a workable system of government. The notion of a federal state means different things to different players and neither the Constituent Assembly (CA) or the political parties have been able to agree on the future federal structure of Nepal. As one writer recently commented, (Sanjeev Pokharel in Republica online)
“Nepal´s efforts to federalize have met with limited success. The Constituent Assembly (CA) and/or political parties have been unable to build agreement on the future federal structure for Nepal. The proposals for distribution of powers for different layers of government, as outlined in the reports of different thematic committees of the CA, show more discrepancies than clarity. There has been no agreement so far on the structure of future local bodies. To make the matter worse, the CA and the political parties have paid little or no attention to develop principles and mechanisms for managing Nepal´s transition to a federal system”.
The saga of trying to elect a prime minister has now reached 17 attempts! Even with the number of candidates now reduced to one, the system is such that that he cannot possibly achieve the required number of votes unless there is a significant change in the voting behaviour of those involved in the process. There is nothing to suggest that this is going to happen in the forseeable future.
As a result of this inertia, a number of significant donors have begun to raise concerns about Nepal being able to secure further funding “…due to the continued caretaker status of the government, a slackened peace process and lack of development leadership…” (Republica Online: 23 November 2010)
The unedifying spectacle of the Maoists manhandling the finance minister in parliament as he attempted to deliver a budget (some 5 months later than the due date) was seen live on Nepali TV, and needless to say, found its way onto you tube soon afterwards…
Meanwhile the Maoists have just concluded their annual plenum with the ambiguous and somewhat contradictory call for peace, constitution and revolt!! Republica sums things up succinctly:-
“However, addressing the press conference at Paluntgar Saturday, Dahal said the party would now hold serious talks with other major parties in parliament to conclude the peace process and to write a new constitution. He defended this contradiction arguing that his party would opt for a revolt if constitution- writing and peace process were obstructed. But none of the slogans sanctioned by the party high command and chanted at the conclusion of the plenum talked about peace and constitution. Instead, one of the slogans called for a steady preparation of a revolt”. Republica Online: 28 November 2010
The saga continues….