Nepal: Political Prospects for the Young Republic, Akanshya Shah, Observer Research Foundation, Pp 42
Nepal is passing through a critical phase. The hopes developed after the nation became a federal democratic republic, appear to be shattered. Even with three extensions—in May 2010, May 2011 and August 2011—the Constituent Assembly failed to draft a constitution as per the wishes of the people. It is the lack of consensus among the major political actors in Nepal in favour of the democracy, which is holding back the transition. Clearly, power-sharing arrangements have taken precedence over the more essential task of drafting a constitution.
Akanshya Shah, an Associate Fellow at Observer Research Foundation (ORF), has come out with a booklet on Nepal highlighting the recent trends blocking roads of democracy in the country. The 42 page booklet, Nepal: Political Prospects for the Young Republic, lists the political crisis prevailing in Nepal for some time.
The booklet says that the dilution of political ideology and growing ethnic and regional biases appear to be dominating the country’s political landscape. Each major party has its own strengths and weaknesses. The Maoist Party which gained an advantage with its arms and cadres has lost support. Similarly, the Nepali Congress (NC) which played a role in getting the Maoists to put an end to their decade-long insurgency and join the peace process is fast losing its central role in national politics. Both these parties have lost their mass base. “Today, there exists a huge leadership vacuum in the country. With the passing away of GP Koirala, the NC’s role has become limited to criticizing the Maoists. Nor is there any strong and visionary leadership among the Madheshi leaders and UML party, NC and UML leaders much of the public support due to poor governance during the last decade when these two parties were in power,” the booklet says adding that Prachanda too is no longer considered a leader of much appeal. (FOC)
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