Category Archives: Nepali Politics 2

To Hold Democratic Elections, Supreme Court Chief Justice Becomes Prime Minister in Nepal

WHAT- Nepal got a new Prime Minister today. President Ram Baran Yadav appointed Supreme Court Chief Justice Khil Raj Regmi as the Chairman of the Interim Electoral Council of Ministers (basically the Prime Minister) of Nepal. Dr. Yadav also administered the oath of office and secrecy to Regmi this morning. Regmi became the PM because Nepal’s top political parties, at war with each other and unwilling to accept leadership of the party other than their own, finally agreed on CJ Regmi’s name for the leader of the electoral government to hold elections of the Constituent Assembly. It is believed that Nepali leaders, generally considered corrupt and incompetent, did so at the behest of foreign forces especially our southern neighbor.

GOOD? BAD? Both.

First, why it is good:

1) Regmi replaced Dr. Baburam Bhattarai as the PM. This is good. I had big hopes from Bhattarai when he became pm 18 months ago. But he turned out to be a utter disappointment. Just another corrupt man who promoted nepotism and favoritism and, through his wife, misused resources of state in a naked manner. So Bhattarai’s exit is a relief. The Maoists were milking the state resource. I am not sure if that will be stopped entirely because the militant party in Nepal has the capability to extort and intimidate general public, business and government machinery even when they are not in power. Moreover, they have put in place many of their men and women in many plum and crucial positions in Nepali government machinery and administration that it will childish to say that their illegal flow of income from the state coffer will stop.

BAD

Now, why it’s bad?

1) If you believe in democracy, its principles, constitutionalism and fairness in politics, you will be very sad with the way Regmi’s name was proposed and appointed to lead the government. When he was appointed the prime minister, he was the serving Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Stunningly, he still is the CJ. He hasn’t resigned. Now, where has that basic principle of a constitutional democracy called separation of power gone? And look at what happend at the Supreme Court today? It was supposed to hear on the writ filed against the appointment of the CJ as PM. But the hearing was differed because CJ was appointed PM merely an hour before the hearing  was scheduled to begin. The whole concept of independent judiciary has received a big blow.

NOW WHAT?

Those who are support the CJ’s appointment as the PM argue that it was done to hold elections and provide an outlet to nearly 10-month long political deadlock. Okay, I get the point. But will an election which itself is an outcome of undemocratic exercise be able to provide solutions? It will be a step towards right direction if Regmi resigned from his post of the CJ.

Also, there really wasn’t any constitutional way to appoint a new pm because political parties who were to work in conensious were not willing to accept each other’s leadership. The only other option would have been to continue with BRB, whose legality was already in question, at the helm. Nepal’s current flawed interim constitution provides only ways for a prime ministerial appointment: one, the person has to win a majority of votes in the CA which is no more. Two, the person has to garner the support of major political parties, namely the NC, UML and UCPN Maoist (called national consensus).

I am all for elections. My hands are etching to caste a vote (two votes actually). Yes it will be very hard for me to choose the candidate (or a party) because all of the partie that are likely to contest in the elections have been tried and tested and they have all disappointed us. I just hope that some good candidates show up in the elections and some really good leaders emerge out of the democratic process.

Some say they doubt elections can happen under this government. Some say, there are high chances for elections to happen (in November, not in July though) because parties do want to rule and the only way for them to go back to power is to content elections and win the votes of the people.

Now the danger is that we can fully trust this government either. It is because these bureaucrats (two former secretaries were appointed ministers today and eight more will be included in the cabinet) are accountable to none today. And people can not punish (or award) them in elections either. They may turn out to be even more corrupt. Bigger danger is that they may get unduly influenced to sign anti-national treaties and other provisions.

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Nepali Politics is a Game of Corrupt Rulers versus Incompetent Opposition

It’s very simple to understand current Nepali politics. It’s a game between two blocks. One is incompetent and the other is extremely corrupt. Yes, the ruling leaders are cunning, corrupt, and hell bent on extending their tenure at the cost of national consensus. What about the opposition leaders? Are they serious and capable to end country’s political impasse? Can they ensure change that the people want to see in politics? The answer, unfortunately, is a big NO.

By Siromani Dhungana
UWB

One thing is for sure. The ruling parties have a clear objective: they want to make a lot of money before they leave the government. Leaders from ruling parties are cunning enough to create a catchy phrases and jargons against parties in opposition. They are good at blame game.

What about opposition leaders? They are good for nothing. They do not have a clear agenda, plan, tactic, or vision to solve immediate and long-term challenges that the country faces. Moreover, the high level leadership of opposition parties – namely the Nepal Congress and UML – is not capable to fight against or challenge tactics applied by the UCPN Maoist in Nepal’s politics.

I do not mean that leaders from NC and UML challenge Pushpa Kamal Dahal in changing tones and tactics every second day or rely on propaganda as the Maoists are doing. Nor they should give ‘false hope’ and sell ‘dream of Switzerland’ to people as Maoists did during the insurgency and continue to do so even now. Continue reading Nepali Politics is a Game of Corrupt Rulers versus Incompetent Opposition

We Have a Government That Behaves Like the Opposition

The question in political landscape at present is what happens when ruling parties adhere to ‘hate speech’? Are our ruling parties indulging in ‘black propaganda’? Or they lost their conscience to be a responsible government? Many have started to realize that this government does not represent sentiment of people. This is not the government of Nepali national character. Rather, this is the government of Maoists and some Madhesis who, rather than representing the people, are solely focused on making money, amassing resources from the national coffer.

By Siromani Dhungana
UWB

In a bizarre demonstration of a weird political culture, leaders from the ruling parties have been behaving and speaking like the opposition parties.

In a joint gathering of the Federal Democratic Republican Alliance (FDRA), leaders from ruling UCPN (Maoist) and its political allies Madhesh-based parties blamed opposition Nepali Congress and CPN-UML for being stumbling block to the peace process. They, however, did not reveal what the government has been doing in a concrete manner to forge consensus.

As polarization among political parties increases sharply, UCPN (Maoist) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal on Wednesday warned that the Nepali Congress (NC) will be “annihilated” if it fails to keep up with the “aspirations of the people,” reports The Kathmandu Post.

According to media reports, leaders of political parties warned opposition parties to finish or to be finished. Media coverage regarding FDRA’s mass gathering does not suggest that ruling parties are in a mood to forge consensus.

It is shameful that political parties who have been ruling the country for 18 months are trying feign ignorance about the current political deadlock. Is this game of hurling blames by the ruling parties justifiable? Are they the ‘clean flocks’ as they claim to be?

In democracy, ruling parties should show their democratic commitment and magnanimity to take opposition into confidence. But recent statements from leaders of ruling parties show that they want to play the role of opposition as well. Principally, ruling parties should take all opinions into consideration to make their decision a truly national decision. The government should have capacity to listen peoples’ discontent and dissatisfaction. The government should also listen to voices of opposition parties raised peacefully.

However, all these expectations have been a far cry for Nepali citizens.

Prime Minister Sacks Two Controversial Ministers

PM relieves Bhandari, Sah of ministerial posts, Justifies his move as instrumental to facilitate peace, statute process

Prime Minister Dr. Baburam Bhattarai Wednesday relieved Defence Minister Sarat Singh Bhandari and Minister for Land Reforms and Management Prabhu Sah of their posts.

“I want to inform the parliament that I have removed ministers Bhandari and Sah in the recommendation of their respective parties,” Prime Minister Dr. Bhattarai announced in the Legislature-Parliament late this afternoon. Continue reading Prime Minister Sacks Two Controversial Ministers

नेपालमा जारी विचारको गुरिल्ला युद्ध

The Guerrilla War of Ideology in Nepal
विचारको गुरिल्ला युद्ध

दिनेश वाग्ले
वाग्ले स्ट्रिट जर्नल
यो लेख आजको कान्तिपुरमा प्रकाशित भएको हो । पत्रिकाकै पन्नामा हेर्ने भए यहाँ क्लिके हुन्छ ।

डिल्लीराम सुवेदी बन्दुकविहीन गुरिल्ला हुन् । काठमाडौंको शिक्षा क्याम्पसबाट अंग्रेजीमा स्नातकोत्तर पास यी युवा कागजी मैदानमा कलमले युद्ध गरिरहेका छन् । उनको विपक्षमा छन्, कलमै बोकेका अर्काथरी गुरिल्लाहरू जो पाँच वर्षअघिसम्म हतियार पनि बोक्थे । (ती हतियार अहिले क्यान्टोनमेन्टहरूमा छन् र तिनको साँचो अघिल्लो साता एक जना पूर्वगुरिल्लाले नेतृत्व गरेको सरकारलाई बुझाइएको छ ।)

[UWB note: For those who are subscribed to this site but don’t understand Nepali, this article, published in today’s Kantipur- a full page- explores the war of ideologies that is being fought in the Nepali society at multiple layers: from the thematic commetties of the Constituent Assembly to the internal forums of political parties to journals and op-ed pages newspapers to the tea-shops by the roads.  Nepali Congress, the second largest party in the CA, along with CPN UML, the third largest party, are on the one side of this ideological divide while the Maoist, the largest party, is on the other.] Continue reading नेपालमा जारी विचारको गुरिल्ला युद्ध

Dining with an Indian spy, former king Gyanendra proposes revival of monarchy

Amid escalating uncertainties regarding the extension of Constituent Assembly (CA)’s term, Former King Gyanendra Shah has proposed the revival of monarchy in the nation.

It is learnt that Shah, in a dinner meeting convened with Alok Joshi, official of an Indian intelligence agency, said that assistance will be sought from the Rastriya Prajatantra Party-Nepal (RPP-N), among other parties, to revive monarchy in one form or the other, provided that the CA’s term is not extended in the nation, according to eKantipur.

Parties rooting for monarchy will initiate protests within a few days if the CA is dissolved, sources close to the former king informed.

Here’s a report, in Nepali, by Sarojraj Adhikari in Thursday’s Kantipur daily about Research and Analysis Wing’s officer Alok Joshi’s activities in Kathmandu in the past week: Continue reading Dining with an Indian spy, former king Gyanendra proposes revival of monarchy

American Cablegate: US Ambassador Relays Concerns About Activities Of Indian Intelligence Agents [In Nepal]

Reference ID: 03KATHMANDU2366

Created: 2003-12-04 02:02
Released: 2011-03-15 00:12
Classification: SECRET//NOFORN
Origin: Embassy Kathmandu

Wikileaks notice: This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

S E C R E T KATHMANDU 002366

SIPDIS

NOFORN

STATE FOR SA/INS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/03/2013
TAGS: PREL PTER NP IN
SUBJECT: NEPAL: AMBASSADOR RELAYS CONCERNS ABOUT
ACTIVITIES OF INDIAN INTELLIGENCE AGENTS

REF: A. REF: KATHMANDU 2282
¶B. KATHMANDU 2298

Classified By: AMB. MICHAEL E. MALINOWSKI. REASON: 1.5 (B,D).

¶1. (S/NF) On December 3 the Ambassador raised with Indian Ambassador Shyam Saran reports that intelligence agents assigned to the Indian Embassy in Kathmandu have been characterizing USG policy and motives in Nepal as malevolently aimed at undermining Nepal’s sovereignty. The Ambassador told Saran that the reports had been passed to us by several Nepali political sources, who claimed to have had such conversations in the recent past with Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) agents based at the Indian Embassy. He also briefed Saran about unsubstantiated reports suggesting that some Nepali Maoist women may have received training at a security facility in Dehra Dun in northern India (Ref A). Noting that Nepalis, both within the government and in the opposition, sometimes attempt to play off Indian and American interests, he stressed that the information passed on by these sources had not been verified. He noted that the reports predated the meeting between Nepali Maoists and Communist Party of Nepal – United Marxist Leninist General Secretary Madhav Nepal in Lucknow (Ref B)–an event that has SIPDIS set Nepali nationalists teeth on edge against India. The Ambassador emphasized that he was communicating these concerns to Saran as a friend and ally.

¶2. (S/NF) Ambassador Saran thanked him and expressed concern, describing the reports as “”unfortunate”” and not an accurate reflection of official GOI policy–a point confirmed in his recent policy discussions in New Delhi (see para 3). The GOI is committed to ensuring Nepal’s stability, he said, adding that he has obtained unprecedented levels of development and security assistance for the kingdom. Nonetheless, sometimes people in different branches of the GOI “”go off on their own,”” he acknowledged, and promised to look into the reports.

¶3. (S/NF) In a separate meeting on November 30, Saran briefed the Ambassador on the just-concluded policy deliberations in New Delhi. He stressed that his interlocutors had expressed concern about possible spill-over of the insurgency onto Indian territory. According to Saran, Indian Defense Minister George Fernandes told him that “”the fight against the Maoists is also India’s fight.”” Saran noted, however, that certain quarters within the GOI had argued that India should maintain contact with the Maoists in order to influence them and to keep open communication channels in the event of a worst-case scenario in which the Maoists ultimately gain power.

¶4. (S/NF) We cannot discount the possibility that our Nepali sources, many of whom resent India’s influence in their country, may have their own motives in conveying to us reports of Indian double-dealing. We have always found Saran professional, collegial, and cooperative, and believe that he does not sanction–and may probably not be aware of–all of RAW’s activities in Nepal. His acknowledgement that some in the GOI “”go off on their own”” and that some advocate maintaining contact and influence with the Maoists is his first admission to us that some elements within his Embassy may be working at cross-purposes to official GOI policy.

MALINOWSKI

See on Wikileaks

Fourth Round Fails to Elect a Prime Minister

And a lawmaker says  he received threats from the Indian diplomatic mission in Kathmandu. Embassy refutes the claim.

For the record: The fourth round of voting today in the parliament failed to elect a prime minister. Fifth round of voting is scheduled for Aug 18. Neither of the prime ministerial contenders—UCPN (Maoist) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ and Nepali Congress (NC) Parliamentary Party leader Ram Chandra Poudel—could muster the required votes (301 out of 601 for simple majority) in today’s elections. Dahal bagged 213 votes, which is 46 less than he received in the third round, while Poudel garnered 122, two less than he had in the previous round.

The news today is that those 11 Madhesi Janadhikar Forum lawmakers who had voted in favour of Dahal didn’t floor cross today. Like in the previous rounds the MJF remained neutral along with its allies from Madhesh. The CPN-UML, third largest party in the CA remained neutral too.

Indian Embassy in Kathmandu accused of threatening Nepali lawmaker

raj kumar sharmaLawmaker Raj Kumar Sharma, who deserted the Tarai Madhes Loktantrik Party (TMLP) to join the UCPN (Maoist), claimed today that he has been receiving death threats over the prime ministerial poll. Talking with reporters after participating in the fourth round of election to the post of prime minister at the Constituent Assembly (CA) hall today, Sharma said that he was put under extreme pressure and has been repeatedly receiving death threats from the Indian embassy. Continue reading Fourth Round Fails to Elect a Prime Minister

Nepali Politics: Floor Crossing During Prime Ministerial Election

nepali lawmakers floor crossing
On Monday (2 August) a group of 11 MPs from MPRF crossed the floor to vote for Maoist prime ministerial candidate Prachanda. That was round three. The fourth-round voting for a new prime minister (Prachanda vs NC's Ram Chandra Poudel) will be held tomorrow (August 6). A cartoon by Batsyayana (via Kantipur). For more info on the floor crossing incident and Round 3, click on the cartoon.

Shyam Saran, Indian envoy, Comes to Nepal to tell our Leaders how to form a Government

shyam saran in kathmandu
Shyam Saran talks to reporters in Kathmandu.

हामी लघूमानव हौं।
हामी आफूखुशी कहिल्यै मिल्न नसक्ने
कसैले मिलाइदिनुपर्ने,
हामी आफुखुशी कहिल्यै छुट्टिन नसक्ने
कसैले छुट्टायाई दिनुपर्ने,
हामी आफू खुसी कहिल्यै अगाडि बढ्न नसक्ने
कसैले पछाडिबाट हिर्काउनुपर्ने, हिँडाउनुपर्ने
हामी रङ्ग-रोगन छुटेका,
टुटेका, फुटेका
पुरानो क्यारमबोर्डका गोटि हौं
एउटा मानोरञ्जक खेलका सामाग्री,
एउटा खेलाडीमाथि आश्रित,
आफ्नो गति हराएका
एउटा ‘स्ट्राइकर’ द्वारा सञ्चालित
हो, हामी मानिस कम र बढ्ता गोटी हौं।
[Click on the photo above to read the complete poem by Bhupi Sherchan]

You will be forgiven if you thought Bhupi Sherchan penned those lines this evening after watching Shyam Saran land in Kathmandu today afternoon as Indian Prime Minister’s special envoy to Nepal to tell the quarreling political parties how to ditch differences among them and form a government. As Bhupi says: We (the Nepalis) are nothing but subhumans, we can’t voluntarily live in harmony, somebody has to come and reconcile us with each other.. we are more carrom-men than humans that are operated by a striker.”

::::

“Prime Minister of India has sent me here as an envoy so that I can, along with excellency ambassador [Rakesh Sood], have extensive round of meetings with all the political leaders in the country to see whether or not there is someway in which we can try build consensus so that a constitution in Nepal is formulated as quickly as possible. We have great interest, as neighboring country in the political stability of Nepal, and in the economic prosperity of Nepal, and as a friendly neighbor we will try and make all the efforts possible.”

-Shyam Saran, speaking to journalists at Tribhuvan Inernational Airport, Kathmandu today.

:::

New Delhi: India has send a senior envoy to Nepal to help resolve a political crisis that has left the Himalayan nation without a prime minister for five weeks. Former foreign secretary Shyam Saran has reached Kathmandu to aid talks between rival parties who have repeatedly failed to elect a new prime minister in the latest chapter of a long power struggle. “Nepal’s political situation is in limbo, and India wants to help them set up a stable government,” an Indian foreign ministry official told AFP on condition of anonymity. Continue reading Shyam Saran, Indian envoy, Comes to Nepal to tell our Leaders how to form a Government