The peace and constitution process has ground to a halt, mainly because of a disputed provision in the new constitution about whether or not Nepal should have a presidential or parliamentary system of government. Maoist Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal has not tried to hide the fact that he seeks to become the executive president. When the NC and UML objected, Dahal did not just stall negotiations, he went back on previous commitments agreed to in the sub-committee he himself heads.
The political parties all share the blame for obstructing progress, but by far the greatest responsibility for the current deadlock goes to the Maoist party, and particularly its chairman. The internal rift within the party has been a useful bargaining tool for Dahal in negotiations with the opposition, but he has now played this card once too often.
Neither the NC or UML should have any problems with a presidential system, there are plenty of examples where it has worked. There are also places where it has been a disaster. The real issue is that the executive should be accountable, should have renounced violence and proven a commitment to democratic politics. The others are reluctant to trust a party that has often shifted the goal posts, keeps threatening violent state capture, or plunders the state coffers. Chairman Dahal is both the problem and the solution to this stalemate.
One step forward, two steps back
Pushpa Kamal Dahal is both the problem and the solution to the deadlocked peace and constitution process
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