ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

A+| A| A-

Democracy Betrayed in Nepal

Can a system where capitalism and democracy are significantly less incompatible be peacefully created?

The great hope that following the Maoists joining the “democratic mainstream” and participating in “competitive politics”, a new democratic Nepal would be on its way has been dashed. After the resignation of Pushpa Kamal Dahal (“Prachanda”) as prime minister in early May this year over the thwarting of his move to establish civilian control over the armed forces, a rickety 22-party coalition government with Madhav Kumar Nepal of the Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist-Leninist) [CPN(UML)] took office. But the Nepali Congress (NC) and the CPN(UML) have been bitterly contending with each other to gain the upper hand, and the various factions in each of these outfits continue to wrestle with each other, rendering governance a casualty. Their main aim of effectively keeping the Maoists out of power has however, at least so far, been attained.

No doubt, Washington and New Delhi must be heaving a sigh of relief, for neither the CPN(UML) nor the NC is interested in the integration of the Maoist People’s Liberation Army (PLA) into the Nepal Army (NA), as also the “democratisation” of the latter, both of which are part of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement of 21 November 2006. Nor are they bothered about institutionalising civilian control over the armed forces, which the interim constitution requires, and they have the tacit backing of India and the US in this respect too. So it is only a government headed by the Maoists that can ensure these basic prerequisites of lasting peace in that strife-torn land. But given the ganging up of virtually all the major political parties in the constituent assembly against them, the chances of all this happening is distant.

Dear Reader,

To continue reading, become a subscriber.

Explore our attractive subscription offers.

Click here

Back to Top