Nepali Times Asian Paints
From The Nepali Press
Polls apart



The king's command to conduct elections by 2007 is meaningless because the main political parties are going to boycott it. It is absurd to announce elections in this situation. The election announcement will therefore only widen the rift between the king and the parties. The media ordinance cast further doubts on the king's real intentions and it is clear that the intention is to continue the autocratic trends. An election conducted by an autocratic regime has no meaning. If the government holds an election inspite of this it will never be legally acceptable. This is non-constitutional, just like the a government without a prime minister is unconstitutional.

Government ministers are saying the polls will be valid even if with there are only 5-10 percent of votes cast. It is obvious the government is going ahead ignoring public interest and is driven by only its own ambitions. It seems almost as if the government has declared war on the people. What kind of elections and what kind of democracy is it if the parties do not trust the government enough to take part in polls? This makes a mockery of the government's stated commitment to multiparty democracy. A proper election should resolve the country's crisis, but the kind of polls being conducted will only deepen it.

Government after government in the past four years have said elections are not possible. And the ground situation today is even worse. Successive governments have been installed and sacked on the whim of the king using elections as the excuse. If the king thinks he can restore his international reputation by dangling the elections, he is wrong. The international community can't be fooled and in fact the poll announcement has further isolated the royal regime.

Political parties, civil society and the people should struggle to restore democracy and peace. Since peace is necessary, the political parties should take forward their negotiations with the Maoists first. Restoring parliament may be a better option than elections especially because in the absence of the house, laws are being passed by ordinance.


LATEST ISSUE
638
(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)


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