Issuing a statement defending autocratic king’s election roadmap and deploring international community’s criticism of municipal polls, Nepal government fights back
By D Wagle
“His Majesty’s Government of Nepal finds the statements made by a few countries on the municipal elections in Nepal as totally objectionable thus unacceptable and asks them to refrain from making such insolent comments on matters that fall essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of a sovereign country.”
-Statement by the Spokesperson at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Nepal.
Autocracy in today’s world is an abominable anachronism. But what is even more dangerous is the attempt of autocracy to don the garb of democracy. In a bid to deflect the mounting pressure to revive democracy in Nepal, King Gyanendra ordered municipal polls on February 8. But election without a semblance of democracy is nothing but a monumental farce.
-An editorial piece (titled Himalayan Sham) in the Asian Age, an Indian daily newspaper.
Just like the Saddam Hussein’s Iraqi Information Minister was seeing his government’s victory as the American armies were marching inside Baghdad, Nepal’s foreign Minister Ramesh Nath Pandey thinks that, the February 8 municipals in Nepal were “a clear popular victory against terror that has derailed democracy for years.” Pandey’s Foreign Ministry today issued a statement in the name of the spokesperson (we know the status of spokesperson in Pandey’s minister very well! Folks say that even files related to promotion of a junior level officer at the ministry has to go through Pandey’s table.) that essentially blasts off recent criticism made by some of the worlds leading countries like Japan, US, Britain and India. All of these countries have rejected the election branding it meaningless, hollow exercise with no popular support aimed at legitimizing the king’s autocratic ambitions.
Poor Pandey! He just served his master by issuing a statement that is full of false claims and laughable reasons. “His Majesty’s Government would be grateful to be enlightened if there is a substitute for elections in a democracy,” the fifth last sentence of the statement states. Who will tell Pandey that there is no democracy in Nepal, there is simply the autocracy of his boss, the Chairman of the Cabinet. When Gyanendra Chairs the Cabinet, Pandey should know, there is no democracy in Nepal.
When people like Pandey believe that there is democracy in today’s’ Nepal, its no surprise to learn from Royal henchman like Keshav Raj Rajbhandari (Chief Election Commissioner is his formal identification) proudly declaring that Election Commission is ready to hold General Elections as and when the King directs the constitutional body as per the article 53 (1) of the national statue. Rajbhandari has become of the shameless royal psychopath over the weeks by blindly acting as per the autocratic wish of King Gyanendra.
Now is the time for international community to do something significant than just issuing statements. Now is the time for political parties to intensify the movement so as to force the tyrant king to kneel down in front of the real popular wish.