By Our Political analyst
In as-it-is situation, the constitution cannot be amended and even if the date for local election is declared, there is no chance of holding elections in May. The bill to amend the constitution is impending in the Parliament. Prime Minister Pushpakamal Dahal and NC president Sher Bahadur Dauaba have not been able to manage necessary numbers to amend the constitution. Therefore, Dahal is worried to table the amendment bill in the Parliament.
On the other hand, when the supreme leaders of the three parties held a meeting recently, PM Dahal had assured to the UML leaders saying that he would declare the election date within a week. Dahal has not yet announced the election date. In the meantime, the leaders of the Madheshi Front have warned to demonstrate their strength in the Tarai districts if Dahal will not respond to their demands. From such developments, Dahal has felt helpless as he has not been able to break the ice, even though he is willing to stick on power further.
The present coalition government was formed with the mandate for holding the local elections by March/April. Dahal has failed to meet the target given to him. Now, Dahal is trying to prolong his tenure in the government by distributing assurances that he is going to hold elections in May. In fact, Dahal has analysed that this is very bad time for him to go for elections as the party is in very weak position on the basis of organization. Therefore, Dahal is trying to push back the election date so that he will get time to strengthen the party organization. Dahal has believed that coming November or December would be suitable time for him to go for the elections.
Prolonging the government:
Although failed to hold the elections in May, Dahal is trying to stick on to the power. As per the agreement between the NC and MC, Dahal had to handover power to the NC after holding the local elections and the NC had to hold provincial and federal elections before 21 January, 2018.
Dahal has analysed that currently, Delhi will support Dahal and he will be able to prolong the present coalition government. If NC will perform non-cooperation to this government, there will be chances of alliance between the two communist parties UML and MC. In this regard, again KP Oli will become strong, which will be against the Delhi’s interests. Therefore, Delhi is compelled to continue support this government, Dahal has analysed.
Dahal believes that the Mdheshi Front, which has warned to take back the support to the government, cannot go against the present government. According to PM Dahal, the Madheshi Front cannot go against the interests of Delhi and Delhi cannot go against the present government, therefore, he believes, his position is secured.
On the other hand, NC President Deuba has felt that as the two strong communist parties have become rivals, this is an appropriate time for the NC to go to the elections. Therefore, NC wants to continue the present alliance among the NC, MC and Madheshi Front until the elections.
What about constitutional crisis?:
It has become almost sure that the elections of local units, provincial and federal elections cannot be possible to conduct before 21 January, 2018. If failed to conduct all the elections before 21 January, the constitution is going to face crisis. However, there is no environment of the election of the local units and provinces as there are disputed on boundaries of the No 5 Province and also in different local units prescribed by the Local Unit Restructuring Commission. When the leaders of the major three parties feel that there will be a constitutional crisis, they may endorse an agreement for holding the federal elections only by pending the elections of the local units and provinces. The next option could be extension of the tenure of the Parliament for yet another year.