News Commentary-CHITRA RAJ BHANDARI: The closing deadline to forge consensus on outstanding political issue and corresponding hopes and fears among political parties of Presidential intervention in Nepal’s politics, has become the most debated topic.
Calculating the pros and cons of such decision for the President, its seems that President Dr Ram Baran Yadav, does not intends to land in a political quagmire and initiate a process that earlier had deprived Gyanendra Shah of his throne.
On Monday, the President has fixed November 22 as the date for resolving all contentions between political parties. Some analysts and commentators have gone beyond this deadline and its message and claimed that the President will directly intervene in politics by dissolving incumbent Bhattarai government.
However given the constitutional hurdles, lack of political support, and lack of support from foreign power sources, the President wont make such interventions. Here is why.
President’s press aide Rajendra Dahal, while ruling out Presidential action after in post November 22 period, said that the President set the date as it was the date fixed for holding CA elections. Dahal said by fixing the date, the President wanted to make sure that the political parties will avoid further political void, by leaving the nation without a future course. So, according to Dahal, the President is no where intending to remove Bhattarai government and call parties to form a new national consensus government.
Even if the President does removes Bhattarai government and calls for forming national consensus government, the situation does not seems to be resolving. Primarily so because, the action will be against the interest of UCPN Maoist, JDMF and other ruling parties, which held majority of the votes in the erstwhile Constituent Assembly. With such animosity, the President will find him alligned with the opposition parties- Nepali Congress , CPN UML and others. And this is least thing that the President will do to preserve the neutrality and guardian role of his post.
Recent news reports claimed that the President might use article 38 (8) of the Interim Constitution to dissolve the government and to call for the formation of a new consensus government. But this is not possible given that he will need backing from all political parties and not only from the opposition parties- which seem to urge for his active role.
Taking political power in hand by dissolving the government has high risk for the President. If, as reported, the President dissolves government, than he will be obliged to deliver a new government to the nation. But given the lack of support from the UCPN Maoist, ruling madhesh based and other fringe parties, he is not likely to receive a PM candidate that is supported by all political parties.
In normal condition, when the parliament existed, the President would have resorted to the parliament for holding major based election to elect a PM, even if parties failed to deliver consensus PM candidate. But given the legislative-less state of the country, the President does not have that option open for him. And calculating this potential risk of pushing the nation into further crisis by not being able to appoint a PM, after removing the existing PM, the President will not willing to take on such a course.
Even if the President is willing to take all the afore mentioned risk, opposition parties will be not so much willing to lend their support to him. Because they internally fear that such an action might repeat the Gyanendra saga. A decade earlier political parties had done such an exercise and empowered the then king Gyanendra to remove and install governments. The moves had given rise to the installation of active monarchy in the country. In the present context, pushing the President to become active in politics and state affairs might empower the President as ordinary successor of monarchy rule. And Congress and UML are well aware of this trend.
Another of the major factor which might restrict the President to intervene in Nepal’s politics is the lack of clear directions from the neighboring nations- India and China. The Indian and Chinese power centers have denied any clear standing on the President-political party struggle in Nepal. Both of these nations, have remained mum on the deepening political crisis, claimed a Congress leader. The leader claimed that both of these neighbors so far have supported political parties in resolving political crisis on their own rather than seeking Presidential interventions. So they too are in wait and see mode and this had left the President backless.
But this interpretations do not mean that the President will sit tight after November 22. Of course he will intensify dialogues and discussions with political parties and other stake holders- national and international- seeking advise for his actions. This discussions will eventually prepare the ground work for his direct interventions in state affairs, which he might take later on if the political parties keep on dejecting him and the nation.
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