a report by Conflict Study Center
Contributed by: Bishnu Pathak, PhD and Chitra Niraula
“The whole nation is heading towards a republican system, and the wave of sensation in support of a republican set up has arrived at the point of diffusion.” Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala
Background: On the evening of November 4, at 7.55 PM, the Interim Parliament (IP) decided to go for federal democratic republic set up prior to the Constituent Assembly (CA) elections and for fully proportional election system by a simple majority voice vote. The IP endorsed the Communist Party of Nepal (UML) amendment proposal of republic and the CPN (Maoist) proposal of fully proportional election system (FPES). The Maoists withdrew their urgent public importance proposal of immediate declaration of republic from the IP and supported the UML’s proposal in the interest of working unity amongst the communist factions. In turn, the UML supported the Maoists proposal of the FPES. The Rastriya Prajantra Party (RPP) also supported the Maoist’s motion on the full proportional representation but voted against the motion for republican setup.
Nepal Workers and Peasants Party shored up its own amendment proposals of federal socialist republic and for mixed member proportional election system (representation). Nepali Congress (NC) and Rastriya Janashakti Party (RJP) went against the both motions. Nepal Sadbhawana Party and United Left Front led by C.P. Mainali remained neutral and did not vote, saying their parties did not want the seven-party alliance to divide on such voting. At the end of the special session tabled by the Maoists of the IP, the speaker directed to the government to immediately proceed for making necessary (both political and legal) arrangements for announcing a country federal democratic republic and FPES prior to the country going for CA elections. However, the IP failed to gather the two-thirds majority to instantly declare the country a republic by amending the interim constitution.
Supremacy: Parliament vs. Interim Constitution
The issues of execution: legal, moral, political and technical resolutions implications have become an subject of public interest after the majority of IP members endorsed the above motion. Maoists have stated that they followed Girija’s leadership so far and demanded NC to follow IP’s resolution accordingly. The IC requires being amended in order to execute the resolutions and a two-third majority is necessary for that and amending the date of CA election; which could be achieved only if the seven-partys reach a concensus.
The mandates of the Popular Movement II were advancing the dialogue with Maoists, drafting of IC inclusive of Maoists, include Maoists in the IP and Interim Government (IG), and holding the CA. The spirit of the IC is to hold CA through conduction of State affairs in consensus of the Seven-party alliance. Nevertheless, the IP is polarized, where NC is in the minority and UML+Maoists+others became the majority. If, the government fails to execute the resolution, it is against the spirit of IP. However, the execution is only possible if the IC amended by its two-third majority. The present government has landed itself in a serious challenge. The polarization in the IP has produced antagonism (US-model majority vs. minority), but the urgent need is stronger alliance or cooperation and collaboration or partnership (European-model inclusive democracy). The parties should realize the seriousness of the issue rather than taking it as a win-loose game.
The challenges from when the republic will function in action and the monarchy will be abolished are critical. Similarly, the restructuration of the State for the federal structure government is a grave technical challenge. On the course to identify the actual number of population, Madhesi, Janajati and Dalit groups are demanding for census prior to CA polls. These constructions would require at least two years completing before the CA election.
The UML has informally proposed change of leadership by saying Budho goru le sandhai gai ogatnu hunna (The old bull should not always occupy the cow). Badal, a Maoist leader, said that they are not bound to accept the NC leadership forever if NC leadership is not in favor of amendment to the IC to execute the house resolutions. The present situation of Nepal is at the middle of the four stages of conflict: discussion, polarization, segregation and destruction. Although the NC voted against the resolution, while the Prime Minister did not cast his vote in the IP as the leader of the SPA, UML and Maoists are steadfast to their demands to amend the IC. But, the wondering part is that the PM himself whipped his party members’ not to caste vote in favor of communist proposed proposals. The positions and stands of NC and UML+Maoists would lead to the collapse of the current alliance and the rise of Madhav Kumar Nepal (UML) to leadership. Considering this, the PM, who is also the Head of the State, has told his close associates and family members during an informal gathering that his reflection is declining and the alliance forces are going to abandon him soon. He looks tired and shrinks to meet the media along with his close associates after house resolutions. His conclusion that the present situation is in favor to the king seems valid. Although the leadership might change, the problems could not be resolved soon.
Possible army coup d’état
A top-secret meeting on Nov 2, 2007 of senior army officials was going on at the Army HQ under the leadership of the Army Chief while urgent public importance discussions were in the IP. Brigadier Dilip Rayamajhi, son of ex-President of Privy Council Dr. Keshar Jung Rayamajhi, submitted a strategic working paper in the meeting. The spirit of which is that the Nepal Army has to be prepared for excellent measures because of the inefficiency of the government and alliance pushing the country into imprisionment of insecurity, mismanagement and indecision. It also proposed that the Army would not abide by the ‘other’ government except the CA in the future. The three-hour meeting concluded that they have to maintain full material and spiritual preparations if they are bound to fight a war. Generals Netra Bahadur Thapa, Bajra Gurung and Shiva Ram Pradhan strongly supported Rayamajhi’s proposal. The Army Chief asked all to keep the meeting confidential and thanked all for their active participations and contributions at the end . The Army, whose senior officials were close to the monarchy, had put pressure on the PM against the federal republic, which could have caused the PM to remain neutral. There is a strong possibility of army coup in favor of monarchy if unity among the SPA polarizes to be broken on the course to implement the House resolutions.
The people are concerned with their safety, security and survival because of daily occurance of threats, violence, disappearances, extortions, murder, rape, torture and so on rather than CA polls. A total of 115 individuals have been killed, according to the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), since November 7, 2006 (signing of the Comprehensive Peace Accord) in a year. Of these, Madhise Janadhikar Forum killed 30; Janatantrik Tarai Mukti Morcha or JTMM (Jwala) killed 11; and JTMM (Goit) killed 9. Similarly, security Forces killed 10; Maoists killed 5; Tarai Cobra and Tarai Bagi killed 1 each; Kapilvastu Social Massacre 14; unknown groups killed 19; and unclaimed bomb blasts killed 15. During this period, the disappearances estimated at 1,098 of which the Security forces are accountable to 77% and Maoists 23%. The NHRC recommended 147 identified perpetrators for action of which only 36% were carried out. A large number of Pahade-origin government employees and residents in Tarai are being threatened and forced to leave their work and home. Unless the Tarai problem is resolved through dialogue involving all violent and non-violent actors, CA polls could not possibly hold. They are still continuing their struggle although their key demand of full proportionate election system has been passed by the IP. Round table conference of all the actors in each district, regional (mid-level) and central levels to identify and address the issues need to be conducted with priority.
The UN Secretary General’s recent report to the Security Council states Nepal’s situation is at a crossroads and it regrets due to its minimal role in the peace process in Nepal. UNMIN has stated in a press conference that it has focussed on three issues: peace process monitoring, security sector assistance (transformation of Maoist ex-combatants to Nepal Army) and promotion of public security service, to raise its profile by extending its tenure for a year.
The government has accepted to extend the tenure for a year of UNMIN without expanding its role whereas the Maoists, which played a key role to invite UNMIN, are in favor to extend for only six months. UNMIN’s tenure will terminate on January 22, 2008, if not extended. Few stalwarts of Human Rights Organizations, operating mostly under the umbrella of key political parties, are clamoring for increasing the tenure as well as the scope of UNMIN, and are lobbying with the political parties. Their interest rests on their day-dream to work as a partner for UNMIN’s imported role. These elites have penetrated quite a lot of their activists in UNMIN’s senior positions too. They are following the tactics to empower themselves rather than empowering the peace process for the sake of country and people.
India and China, both are not happy with the extension of role and term for UNMIN indirectly due to their insufficient activities and penetration of US detectives upon it. The aware political leaders of mainstream parties are not satisfied with the past actions of UNIMIN. UNMIN has been criticized for its meetings with the armed and violent Madhes groups that resulted in intensification of their violence. This could be the cause behind their proposal to UNMIN’s mediation for talks with the government. Many asserted UNMIN’s meeting with them is as a political intervention. But, UNMIN has declined that it has met with the Madhesi leaders, rather it met with only the ‘marginalized groups’ and stated that it would meet with them in the future too. Many intellectuals and politicians have claimed that UNMIN has fueled the Madhes Movement and this contributed to deferral of the CA polls on time in addition to other political factors. The masses feel Kag lai bel pakyo harsa na bismat (What use is the ripened wood-apple for a crow?). People in general, seeing no relevance and importance of UNMIN, have been quiet to its duties and roles for extension and expansion. It seems that confirmist forces are happy because they are reaping the fruits of the conflict and peace, whereas the forward-looking forces feel deceived and deprived.
The two mandates for UNMIN are monitoring of arms/armies and support CA election. Although it has been more or less performing its actions for the first, the election support team has landed in a critical juncture. UNMIN has announced to terminate the team except two dozen experts (most international and a few national staffs). The mushrooming projects of International Institutions and inflow of International Experts have become perplexed and paralyzed because of deferral of the polls.
The Proposal on Urgent Public Importance was discussed between the political parties formally and informally within and outside the IP for 25 days. Although the NC resolved to republic in its General Assembly, it declined to proclaim it immediately because it could not be implemented and stood for deciding on it by the first meeting of CA according to Comprehensive Peace Agreement. But, it put deaf ears to the Full Proportionate Representative Election System.
People in general suspect that there could have been an impious-deal with the monarchy since it is part and parcel of conformist forces based on its 50-years history. These are evident by the publications of the autobiography of Biseshwar Prasad Koirala and Girija Prasad Koirala. The NC tried by hook or by crook through international and national channels to draw UML closer to itself and take away further from the Maoists. The international force was bewildered when the UML and other left forces joined neck-to-neck with the Maoists at the end and the components of the international force is continuously discussing why it has happened.
Our assumptions behind this are:
(i) the issue of implementation of the IP resolution would intensify the gap between the NC and communist factions, which would transfer the power to the UML and so the leftists might have come together;
(ii) China’s diplomatic role might have promoted UML and the Maoists to come closer,
(iii) the USA might have played a part to decrease the powerful influence and role of India in Nepal,
(iv) the European forces, who came to realize that the NC is not able towards forward looking changes in development and governance, might have contributed to fill the gap between UML and Maoists, and
(v) the intellectual forces in India that are for a strong progressive force of power in Nepal could have played their role to bring UML and the Maoists closer.
The working unity between the communist factions has opened the vista for increasing and strengthening their unity for CA elections. The UML’s clamors to go for the polls without change in the state leadership seem to be its legwork for the leadership if the SPA is crushed. The NC fueled the Madhes Movement to wipe out the Maoists and they were successful to some extent. The UML also raised the issues of Janajatis in Mountains and Hills to counter the Maoists and they too were successful to some extent. The Maoists, realizing their weakened position in both tarai and mountains/hills, adopted strategies to delay the polls. The recent IP resolution thwarted both the UML and NC relating to the issues raised by Janajatis, dalits and Madhesi. The international political forces that have had protracted influence in Nepal, found that their politico-diplomacy failed, to their revulsion, for the first time in the history of Nepal. Nepali people want to see their roles suggestive rather than political vested interests, that is the inherent right of a sovereign and independent country.
The Speaker, belonging to UML, has directed the government to immediate implementation of the IP resolution, whereas the Minister of Education and Sports, belonging to the UML, has overtly opposed this, stating that the resolution is against the Constitution.
Hypothesis: Whiter Nepal?
1. There could be a joint communist governmemt since their combined number is the majority in the IP, which could result in the walkout of NC and Sadbhavawana (A) from the SPA. The NC, considered a fish out of water outside state-power, will fall into quagmire.
2. The NC could again split, because Sher Bahadur Deupa is being pushed into a corner by the pro-Monarchial/Conformist forces to lead NC as Girija Prasad Koirala failed to provide active leadership.
3. People’s Mandate for the Popular Movement II was the establishment of a republic and holding of CA elections as soon as possible. The delay for fulfilling the mandate and continuation of the interim coalition government would finally lead to pratikranti (revolt against the mainstream political forces) that would collapse the current status of political leaders.
4. The pro-monarchila and conformist forces could join their force together overtly and covertly against the communist and left forces culminating to a coup d’état. In which case, the Nepali Army belives that the coup would be different than the earlier one in February 1, 2005 done by Gyanendra, which could attain support from the international communities.
5. The contradictory provisions in the IP Resolution and the IC would finally widen the rift between the NC and the Maoists that would pave the way for the latter to go to the streets for Popular Movement III, with the back up of ex-combatants and YCL. That may be similar to the October Revolution. Because only two demands out of 22 have been addressed by the IP.
6. If the current demands of classes, castes, cultures, regions, etc. of the country are not resolved by tracing out the problem-solving methods, the country will face disastrous socio-cultural violence and may turn the unity in diversity of Nepal into a wartorn society.
Contributed by: Bishnu Pathak, PhD and Chitra Niraula, edited by: Joseph Bergson
Assisted by: Kaushila Dhimal and Ganga Puri
28 responses to “Nepal Heading to New Crisis: No CA Without Executing House Resolutions”
It is a very critical situation in Nepal. It is not seems from the outside. First of all, all the political parties should make a committment so that they focus on the main political agenda of the country right now, which is the CA.
Thereafter, Nepal will head towards the right path of development.
If we want permanent peace in Nepal, we need to wipe out these evil forces once and for all.
A critical analysis like yours is very rare nowadays. Even Wagle is polarized! (By the way, he admitted to it too see – http://www.blog.com.np/united-we-blog/2007/11/12/mr-chairman-ca-more-important-than-republic/#comment-575033)
Though written in a scientific format, you haven’t presented any references, and that does make this article a blog.
Some puzzling issues, for which we have no answers it seems, I see are:
1) I am amazed there were two different sets of mandates of the APRIL UPRISING
“The mandates of the Popular Movement II were advancing the dialogue with Maoists, drafting of IC inclusive of Maoists, include Maoists in the IP and Interim Government (IG), and holding the CA.”
” People’s Mandate for the Popular Movement II was the establishment of a republic and holding of CA elections as soon as possible.”
2. We all know India, US, EU, UK have interests in Nepal. Now UNMIN joins in too? Why did the UNMIN try to change its work area from
“monitoring of arms/armies and support CA election”
“peace process monitoring, security sector assistance (transformation of Maoist ex-combatants to Nepal Army) and promotion of public security service, to raise its profile by extending its tenure for a year.”
when “Nepali people want to see their roles suggestive rather than political vested interests, that is the inherent right of a sovereign and independent country.”?
Is this not a total disrespect for Nepal??
Does it want to make Nepal a UN Protectorate like Kosovo?
3. Will the UML remain bound to its 8th cousin-once-removed, the Maoists especially when “The Speaker, belonging to UML, has directed the government to immediate implementation of the IP resolution, whereas the Minister of Education and Sports, also belonging to the UML, has overtly opposed this, stating that the resolution is against the Constitution.”? Will we see UML splitting instead of the NC?
4. When you tell Nepali congress of playing conformist games, what do you make up of the activities of UML and Maoists? Aren’t they all conformists because they try to bring every other party under their respective umbrellas? So, are they all in cahoots with monarchy?
5. How can we be assured that “Those who made “The contradictory provisions in the IP Resolution and the IC” will be the ones who will not write a new constitution? This is because the number of constitutional experts we have since 1990 is basically unchanged.
6. October revolution led to a violent civil war in Russia, millions were killed. It brought the end of Tzarist autocracy and led to the Soviet Communist totalitarianism. The people were the losers, in any case. So, does this mean a doomsday for the people of Nepal? In the bleakest of possibilities, what will the Nepalis prefer- an Army coup d’etat or a Maoist November Revolution?
7. If there’s a communist government, will the NC walk out of the parliament? Will it instead choose a street uprising? Will the YCL and PLA be let loose on NC? Will the Terai agitators become even more violent?
Lots of questions, no answers. Only speculation.
Just a quick note: This report cites “Janaastha vernacular weekly of November 7, 2007” as the source of the Army meeting that is described under the title “Possible army coup d’état”. We missed to include that footnote.
The possibilities ;
1. United communist regime (maybe liberal)
2. Coup from army
3. terai will burn more
4. congress may leave the parliament
5. Maoist including other communist faction may leave the parliament.
6. United ethnic parties may lead the country
United Ethnic Party leading future government is a possibility and we should welcome it.
why we should we welcome UNITED ETHINIC PARTY?
to start ethinic conflicts …
Are not these political conflicts enough for Nepal??
sick of these nonsense people…
why are you asking these questions on this forum which is run by a politically motivated journalist?
Even look at the responses, non of them make sense to stabalize peace in the country. Most of them are egoist, irrelevant, conficting and self-made theories.
Your questions are geniune and find genuine place or genuine person to get genuine answers.
all I see is that the maoist demands are being accepted and how can you expect power gang to love this turn of history?
People are right, the way in which is wrong and in the end it is about power and money. Democracy is a lovely word nobody so far understood.
It is going fast in this sense postponement was good and bad because from inside postponement meant peaceful management of demands of what they needed = republic. Trust is the problem . In democracy you vote and trust the world of voters.
Coocked up by interim. For the benefit of sentien beings but without a single vote. Violence attracts violence. Elections should have been held. Now don’t think Pakistan we have no Benazir Bhutto yet though I know one. Nepal will be saved by a woman.
Can any1 say why Nepali Congress wants republic nepal by CA polls, y not now? they are actually stepping in two boats , one for republic and another for monarchy. If any of the sitution favours they will abandon one and take another. this is extreme dirty and cheap politics.
Well, if the CA polls are not held on time, then definately there are bound to be more trouble/problems for our country.
Why don’t the political parties understand this fact? why they always get together for their own benifits only? when will they think for the nation rather than for themselves?
Yes, because of Girija all this situation of mistrust erupted in Nepal. He is the one who is joining hand with Yadav of MJF to clean up maoist indirectly from madhes. He is the one who is favouring YCL indirectly to counter terai andolan with the help of Sitaula. He is the one who is pampering the NA and supporting to materialise the PLA as new army of Nepal to counter each other so that he can stay as the head of the state until his death. He is the one who is joining the hand with maoist and accepted the most of the “Prachanda Path” ideology to clean up monarchy without vision, offcourse with the support of India. Because of his kind of crook mentality to stick in power, Nepal is facing all these problems.
Well samir I have answer for your question. Nepali Congress wants republic because it is their party’s choice but they want it to happen after CA election because it will be the people’s choice.
In a democracy you have to listen to everyone’s voice, the classical theory of majority and minority is for ballots only. I wanted, and did in fact, put these questions here because:
1) the article was more or less a critical analysis
2) even polarized people need to know what others think and feel, and only that way they can truly understand the dynamics of the situation
3) I see many people cursing each other for no reason at all, or blaming each other or trying to argue
4) I wanted to see if such opinions are tolerated in this blog, because I found people intolerant to others who had a different opinion
5) we need to discuss, and not ARGUE; we need to understand what the problem really is and where it lies
I am sure all people mean all the best for our country, and they views are important. i am just doing my part. i would be glad if everyone does his/hers.
Tilke, Thank you for your suggestion and wishes. I am still searching for that site on the internet, haven’t found one yet!
you will never find that site.
Most of the people in Nepal are inclined to some parties and their opinion/analysis are truely biased. Even, the admin of this site is Pro- Nepali Congress, so asking him a question will be worthless.
Good suggestion to you is to wait until CA Polls (if it happens, lucky you), then only you will find real answers what nepalese people want.
How one can trust to these opportunist leaders who talk about nationality and do not hesitate to go Indian Embassy to secure their power. Those UML leaders talk about socialist concept and send their sons to USA to settle down and remit the earned money over there. Who trust those leaders who talk about democracy and human rights and forget about national security and sovereignity. Those who talk about democracy and what they are doing for the people but aware to go to public opinion. All the present activities of these seven parties alliance leaders are nothing more than drama to stick in power until death. People say there is no alternative to seven parties but in my concept there is alternative to them. If other parties come with the full democratic norms with national unity even ethnic parties, then why not ?
Coming from a shit caste: women I know this is true.
I will never agree with anything just because I am a woman and why should I agree, all always tried to shut me up.
Who needs management if we can have anarchy? I appreciate common sense in the people that would never give me space, but give lipservice to de mo cr a cy. ha ha.
So here comes a women feminist. It has become a fashion and a political path, such as Prachanda Path. If one cannot blame on anything else blame it on gender.
I am really fed up with this all new ideas being brought forward. But all ends in vain.
Kunai pani pragati chahin chaina, matra kurai kura ho yo. Yo gara, tyo gara; ani prapti chahin k bhane
I forgot to add one point in the above comment,
nepalese politician haru lai ho,
“…….. lai bhanda dekhne lai laj”
Yes men should be feminist women follow the men we coock bhat dhal and you give us finally the microphone. God is great.
point 6 ok united ethnic and one womens party ok.
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Vortex of issues flung without any directions.The so-called- leaders and civil leaders are all pretenders without a clue of what next. So the main effort is to maintain 8 syndicate no matter even if nation crumbles into fragments on the line of ethnic, regional and even religious front. I dare not say more.
Even when truth is all evident but we tend to side step it by acting Dante, Lenin and cheapstakes political guru- the end where we are heading is certain- CHAOUS.
Political parties and right activities are the main devil in front of Nepal. my first blame goes moron GP, who is the founder to brought this nation at this collapse point. it is shame that Nepali congree can not sent him Mirghasthali for forever. Second blame goes to UML these bunch of traitarors like Bamdev Goutam who never attained complete school are main leader and architecture of the Nation what we can expect from this two parties. Once these two parties can united on common objective. The terrorist Maosit would not have come such power that has been shaking whole nations. People why we stand up and do home work for New Nepal without parties.
manoj has some point and a good sense of humor as well.
DES LAI GAIJATRA BANAE……
manoj is right as well
‘Nepali’ has rightly said it is NC and primarily GP who lead the country to this miserable state and UML could not play any better role. Otherwise so small (initially) group of gundas (worst than terrorist) could not have swollen up so large as to cause infection to the whole nation. Everything that spreads are not good things. Desease can turn into an epidemy if precautions are not taken on time. And this communism is a desease worse than AIDS. It discourages every smart individuals and encourages every dull mind…..it is the severest curse on humanity. I am sorry to be so clear, friends.