Nepali Congress leader Shekhar Koirala has stood against party’s decision to form electoral government in the leadership of Chief Justice Khilaraj Regmi. While expressing his dissatisfaction with his party leadership, Koirala has warned to take up the issue in all fronts of the party. Nepali Reporters’s Rishi Dhamal recent talked with this hard core democrat recently. Here are the excerpts:
Has Nepali Congress endorsed the decision to form CJ led government unanimously?
The party has not taken such decisions. All Central Committee member of the party have stood against the decision to put a single person in charge of the judiciary and the government. In such conditions, the party leadership does not have any rights to take decisions that are against the party’s decision. Thats we are not ready to put Chief Justice in the Prime Minister’s chair at any cost.
But isn’t it necessity to form CJ led government to resolve status quo?
Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai has been heading towards totalitarianism. In such a condition if a single person is given the reins of both- judiciary and the executive, then that person is bound to be an authoritarian and dictator. This has been proved by many historical incidents. Considering such historial evidences, Nepali Congress should not concede to remove one dictator with another prospective dictator. Congress should not support any move that tramples constitution and endangers multi party democracy under the hide of resolution.
That means you will not accept CJ led electoral government?
We cannot pave way for the rise of a dictator to remove existing dictator. But Iam afraid thats just what our senior leaders are doing. We haven’t given such authority to our party leadership and if they do it, we won’t let them go with it.
How can you say that the CJ will be dictator once he becomes the PM?
We are not talking about the Chief Justice. We are talking about the Chief Justice who will also be the executive.You are confusing it. Khilaraj Regmi and Chief Justice are both different entities. I want to see Khilaraj Regmi as a Prime Minister but i don’t want to see a chief justice having executive authorities too. Im fully confident in the proposition that bestowing two authorities upon a single individual transforms him into a dictator.
But parties have decided that Khilaraj won’t have any relation with the judiciary on becoming PM?
Political decisions do not make any sense here as long as Khilaraj Regmi is recognised constitutionally as the Chief Justice and Prime Minister of Nepal. Now how can a single person occupy both of these positions. Parties must point out this provision in the constitution to me.
Bangladesh’s Chief Justice had also held similar position for similar role
There are many dictators in this world who have held elections. Baburam Bhattarai was also ready to hold elections but we did not accept it because he was turning totalitarian. If a person is posited with executive, legislative, and judiciary powers then his commands must be obeyed. And this our concern presently.
Does this confrontation in your party hints at polarisation?
No, I don’t see this as polarisation. Leaders of Nepali Congress who have sacrificed their whole life for democracy are committed to it. Leaders like Sushil, Sher Bahadur, Ram Chandra and others like them are trying to sabotage the core fundamentals of the party. We have stood to our stance that has its basis on democratic norms and the principle of power division in a democratic nation. Therefore senior leaders should themselves decide where they want to stand.
What should be done to resolve the status quo then?
Election is the only way to resolve the political status quo. But the nature of election is the major concern here. And though election is necessary to keep democracy active, present conditions are not favourable to hold election. Though some citizen’s parents are Nepali they don’t have citizenship, and no one is interested to resolve this issue.
The nation has two voters list. One prepared during the earlier CA elections and one prepard by the election commission. Which will be the basis for election? In other nations only citizens can vote, but here whenever there are elections, demands to allow voters without voter IDs come forward. In such conditions how do you expect to hold fair election?
Parties have decided to hold elections on May 14. How can you rule it out?
Elections on May 14 are impossible, even if parties have reached such an agreement. There are many complexities to materialise that agreement into action. There have been many such understandings in the past and none of them have been transformed, so how can yyou trust that this will be done? This agreement will never materialise. Political parties have pushed this nation towards totalitarianism by signing this deal.