What counts in Democracy is the majority of the vote of people, their aspiration, their sentiment and their demand for the fundamental change that will establish their rights to ‘self-governance’, and ‘self-determination’ in nation building process. Therefore, the legitimacy of the declaration of the Republic solely depends on the aspiration of people that can be demonstrated either by the votes or by the uprisings. Since the opportunity to cast vote has been put under uncertainty, we must act as per the last year’s uprising that had only one voice: do away with the monarchy.
By Prakash Bom
The argument of the Minister for Peace and Reconstruction Ram Chandra Poudel in opposition to the leftist call for immediate declaration of Republic of Nepal through the parliament can’t be justified. Mr. Poudel, who has just fought to penalize the monarchy, might have under estimated the people’s power in last year’s uprisings that can legitimate changes.
People’s power has already legitimated several fundamental changes- “proclamation of the sovereignty of people, declaration of secular state, suspension of monarchy, and so on.” It is obvious that these political leaderships, whose dream is to stick to the status quo of an ‘elite group’, keep forgetting the strength of people that has been taking momentum for fundamental changes in the current democratic evolution of Nepal. That is why people could not accept the elements of status quo in Interim Constitution and therefore demanded their right to ‘self-governance’ and ‘self-determination’ through the establishment of federalism. People know now what will guarantee their “civil liberty’, “civil rights” and “human rights” which have been traditionally denied by the establishment of an ‘elite group.’ Nepali people are watching closely some cunning politicians who grab the power out of people’s uprising to dishonor people in return.
In order to declare Republic Nepal immediately through the Parliament the Interim Constitution needs further amendment to make the declaration constitutionally legitimate and internationally acceptable. The ball is in the hands of eight political party leaderships. Bills that have been recently endorsed by the eight political party leaderships- “bill that can give the Parliament right to declare Republic with the two third of votes if the monarchy conspires against CA elections, bill that can give the Parliament right to impeach the Prime Minister for his or her removal, and bill that will allow the Parliament amend the dates of CA elections”, are getting rusty on the table of the cabinet. Why the cabinet is keeping these bills away from the Parliament is very distrustful. However, people are very much aware of such intention that is antagonistic to the people power. People know declaring Nepal Republic will empower them with the right to ‘self-governance’ and ‘self-determination’ under the federalism.
Political elements that are obstructing these bills in the cabinet are obviously the rudiments of the elite group, which are intrinsically exclusive with their politics of power. The longer the cabinet obstructs the worst will be the consequences. Most probably it will be detrimental to the status quo, and unfortunate to the nation that has dream to create a new democratic Nepal. Naturally, where there is no constitutional option for the people there will be uprising. People’s uprising is the ultimate political struggle for the historic change. The historic change is inherently legitimate, and internationally acceptable.
Logistically, if we accept the assertion that the first meeting of the CA will decide the fate of the monarchy at this critical transition where CA elections are not possible to be held as scheduled in the Interim Constitution, there must be other option. After all it is inevitable that eventually Nepal will be declared Republic- “The Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal.”
The political power of the ‘elite group’ with the institution of the feudal monarchy is under demolition. The club must accept this reality in which major political parties such as Nepali Congress and UML have participated and how much they are addicted to the club depends on their individual leaderships. Principally, party politics wise UML has been able to commit with the sentiment of the people for the republic setup. But, powerful Nepali Congress leaderships have failed to liberate themselves from the addictions of status quo in support to this cause and to the sentiment of people of Nepal. If the majority of people’s vote rules the democracy then what other option Nepali Congress parties have other than politics of obstructions.
Nepali Congress party, as the largest in the Interim Parliament and as the leader in the Interim Government, must decide how it wants to address this crisis- introduce the bills or the referendum, or make reassertion for CA electoral first meeting with new CA elections dates or do nothing thus ignite the public uprising. Since it leads the government, Nepali Congress will be held accountable for any bitter consequences: pro-republic or pro-monarchy.
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