I am shocked, genuinely shocked, to see the Maoists partying and celebrating yesterday’s 23-point deal by equating that to the declaration of a republic.
By Dinesh Wagle
Wagle Street Journal
Almost 98 days after the Maoist ministers’ withdrawal from the cabinet, the Prime Minister today “accepted” their resignations. Prachanda has said that the party will send another set of leaders in the cabinet within 48 hours. In these wasted 98 days, we have lost the opportunity to hold the CA election and declare Nepal a republic through the peoples’ verdict. And it was all symbolic: the resignations of the Maoist ministers, pending and approval of those resignations. We all knew even after quitting the portfolios, Maoists were in fact running the ministries that were assigned to them in April.
Yesterday’s 23-point deal, which is making headlines on the international pages of the world press just because it said a word republic would be added in the interim constitution, is no more than a symbolic gesture too. That is a great face saving for the Maoists who are busy portraying the agreement as a victory in their ‘peaceful war’ to declare Nepal a republic. I am shocked, genuinely shocked, how Maoists can interpret the decisions in their favor. A hastily called and obscure gathering of some members of the civil society was THE Round Table Conference for the comrade Prachanda. Adding one word republic somewhere deep inside the constitution is the declaration of republic for the Maoist party. Not to forget the fact that even that addition of the word will come into effect (implemented!) after the meeting of the CA convenes. So this, in fact, is the declaration of republic in credit, the term coined by the Maoists themselves! We thought they were against such credit declarations.
Maoists should understand this: just putting one word republic in the statue doesn’t make a country republic. Maoists haven’t been able to convince us as to how the favorable situation has been created to hold the election that they couldn’t think was possible in November. The only concrete change that the deal promised is the increment in the number of seats in the Constituent Assembly. Out of total 601 members, 335 (or 55.74 %) will be elected through proportional system while 240 (or 39.9 %) will be elected through first past the post system from same number of geographical constituencies. The remaining 26 (or 4.32 %) will be nominated by the prime minister.
Phew! But that’s okay! If the adding just a word makes comrades happy, we are happy for them! So much with your republic demand! Good that adding one word in the constitution and adding a few seats in the assembly makes comrades feel that favorable environment for the election has been created. Now let’s get ready to vote!