There is still that hope that our mainstream parties patch up their differences fast and dish out a compromise that sets the course for the current constitution to conduct all levels of elections in order to render the implementation process of the constitution complete. Warnings that disaster awaits if this is not done emanate from all quarters although the actual nature and quarters that source the disaster is hardly spelt out. Regardless, prime minister Pushpa Kamal Dehala ‘Prachanda’ is hell bent on pursuing the amendment process he has registered in parliament along with his partners in the Nepali Congress, the opposition CPN UML is rigid in its standpoint to oppose the amendment, and the Tarai-based parties seem clearer than ever before in their pursuance of their demands for which they say the constitution must be amendment and for which the government’s amendment agenda is incomplete. While the streets heat up thus from the issues raised in parliament, the seeming impasse, if aloud to prolong further, it would seem, would result in a total breakdown of the political process which the parliamentary parties are, logically, in desperate need to abort. It is this need and desperation that allows the still continuing suspicion that yet another mad hatter will pull out yet another rabbit of compromise that will retain the current monopoly’s initiative in Nepali politics. After all, this is exactly what they have been doing since the past decade in utter defiance of primary principles of democracy and constitutionalism.
There are chinks in the armor this round though. It is not for nothing that UML street demonstrations this round has chosen to unfurl the national flag and not just their party flag. This non partisan approach has not only attracted non partisan participation but has also, indeed, seen members of the ruling parties use the rostrum to castigate government for their amendment agenda. In so many ways the UML is attempting to channel the growing resentment against the current ‘system’ to further its partisan goals in the anticipated local elections what with its deliberate projection of itself as the ‘nationalist’ party. If the streets continue though, the likelihood that this ploy will retain the resentments against the system appears remote since, after all the UML is as much part and parcel of the current system to which the populace has now openly begun voicing resentment. While this realization should surely help soften and narrow the differences among and between the parliamentary parties, the streets are likely to be taken over soon by non partisan moves to expose the current system. Perhaps it is to forestall this that the UML would like to retain the streets. But this could be counterproductive since the current stalemate and previous compromises have exposed our politicians enough for the population to begin their search for options. It is the seeming absence of believable organization and leadership as of the moment that hinders a movement for which the people are already restive.