• Saturday 28th March 2020

Oli’s Court

  • Published on: March 11, 2020

  • When king Mahendra pre-empted what could have been constitutional threats emanating from a ruling party with two-thirds majority where the bulk of the parliamentary party had had to go along with a leadership insistent on reversing a public decision for the party leader not to head government, it was deemed a coup. The same old problem of party leadership and parliamentary majority emerged a mere two years after the Girija Koirala (Congress) was swept to power after the restoration of the multi-party system. King BIrendra was accused of ignoring the combined parliamentary numbers provided by thirty six Congress legislators combined with that of the UML parliamentary members who went to the Royal Palace to petition the king under the leadership of the parliamentary speaker for their stake in government. Birendra, having successfully thwarted this breach of parliamentary exercise was then to face several charges of impeding minority governments to dissolve the parliament for election, the parliament retaining its permutations for a majority option. By time the Congress and CPN/UML discovered the wisdom of a coalition between them going to the polls together, the system was already crumbling under the threat of a Maoist revolt to quell which each faction within the Congress and the UML were in pursuance of advantages regardless of the need for a systemic approach. It was then that Congress Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba sought to protect his advantage in the party by dissolving parliament for elections to which his parliamentary leader and party president responded from ejecting him from the party.
    The monarchy was again to sustain the charge that it had engineered the Congress split but the Monarchy was to invite additional charges from the Deuba government for not fulfilling its demand to continue in government after having failed to conduct elections after having dissolved parliament. Hence began charges parliamentary quarters of the ling having usurped parliamentary powers that were carried all the way to depose King Gyanendra regardless of the visible shortcomings of party-leader semantics, party leadership rivalries and inter-party relations. When it came to problem- solving, political parties found it convenient to trip to Delhi for options and not, as constitutionally required to acquiesce to King Gyanendra’s version for fresh elections to solve the constitutional crisis. If cadre-leader in-party relations thus become a recurring organizational hurdle in Nepal’s parliamentary and party politics, the other discernible hurdle is the question of advantage sought by conducting elections from government. These partisan hurdles recur throughout Nepali democracy ever since the country opted for that form of government in the 1950s. It has surfaced again in the ruling NCP government. This time the system is asking itself what role the party central committee has in its relations with the prime minister. Prime Minister K.P. Oli, after emerging himself from a critical kidney replacement operation must now address the sissue on his own since he chose to ignore the committee and, instead, took up the pressing challenge of a second kidney replacement. Happily, he has emerged successfully from this task to freshly take up the challenge that is politics in Nepal.


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