Restoration of the dissolved Pratinidhi Sabha (Parliament) seems to be the only way out to solve the present political deadlock in Nepal. It will defuse the situation and cool the political temperature of the country. Today, the seven-party alliance is calling for the restoration of the Parliament as the first step towards return to peace. Supporters of monarchy in Nepal are of the view that the revival of the Parliament is unconstitutional, as it had expired its mandate.
King Gyanendra dismissed Sher Bahadur Deuba, the elected Prime Minister, and dissolved the Parliament on his recommendations in 2002. The Supreme Court of Nepal, when approached, ruled that the dissolution of Parliament on recommendations of the Prime Minster was fully constitutional. It has not come to any decision so far about the constitutional position as far as the restoration of the Parliament is concerned. The Supreme Court has been approached about it but it has not given any judgement. The ultimate arbiter of the Constitution is the Supreme Court and it has declared the Constitution of Royal Cabinet illegal.
The King has also publicly stated that he is for multiparty democracy and constitutional monarchy. The restoration of the Parliament assures the King the most direct route back to order. An old Parliament is better than no Parliament. By its very nature of representation, the Parliament is inherently more sensitive and more in touch with the ground situation.
The timely restoration of the Parliament is in the King'sinterest too. It will keep the monarch above the political controversy, which is inevitable among the political parties and the Maoists in future and it will also contribute in restoring people'sfaith in the utility of monarchy. Delayed action will result in setting up a parallel administration and a full-fledged Republic.
The restoration of the Parliament could be given an opportunity to elect the leader, who could be entrusted with Prime Minister'sresponsibility by the King. It could also conduct the next general election for the Parliament and also negotiate with the Maoists and persuade them to give up arms and violence.
The Maoists do not have any representation in the dissolved Parliament. It will therefore be a test to their claim of political transformation. It has been demonstrated that peaceful economic defiance is more effective and more appropriate in today'seconomic world order. The restoration of the Parliament would oblige the Maoists to tilt more towards peaceful methods and permanent disarmament.
Soon a point of no return may be reached unless the King realises the ground realities and is willing to reach a compromise. Unlike the earlier 1990 movement, this movement has caught international attention. The non-resident Nepalese have become more active and some leaders of the movement are also in India for quite sometime and are in close touch with the political parties.
The Government of India has finally decided to revise its policy towards Nepal. All these years India has been advocating a two-pillar policy? constitutional monarchy and multiparty democracy. The recent statement by Indian government spokesman emphasise only on democracy and does not mention monarchy. The Indian Ambassador in Kathmandu had on the Republic Day issued a similar statement. It is said that Shri Mukherjee, when he met King Gyanendra on April 16, conveyed the strong message from New Delhi that if he wanted to salvage monarchy, he needed to step back and hand over power to the seven-party alliance of political parties in Kathmandu. This was the first meeting of Indian Ambassador with the King in last several months. Only by handing over actual power to the parties and stepping in the background, the monarchy will be able to retain a role for itself in the future.
The sending of Dr. Karan Singh as the special envoy of the Prime Minister can also be seen as a further step in this direction. Shri Shyam Saran, Indian Forign Secretary, was also part of the delegation. It may be remembered that Dr. Karan Singh is married to the grand daughter of the last Rana Prime Minister.
The ground situation in Nepal is getting worse everyday. Civil servants working in Singh Darbar (main secretariat) are joining the agitation. This is a pointer that people from all walks of life are joining the agitation started by seven political parties from April 6. Time is running out and an immediate action is called for. The defence ministry of Government of India is also considering the latest development in Nepal and its reaction in India.