By Gopal Khanal (KATHMANDU, 7 May 2020) – The internal row of the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) was averted when the senior leaders agreed to give up their extreme and rigid stance. After the party secretariat meeting, the chapter of the resignation of KP Sharma Oli from the Prime Minister and Party President has been closed. The Standing Committee Meeting will endorse the agenda set by the secretariat though the SC members can express their views.
The win-win solution between the two-alignment led by Prime Minister Oli and Prachanda has encouraged all the citizens including the one million organisational member and those who want political stability in Nepal. According to the deal, Oli and Dahal agreed to share the order of precedence, with Oli focussing on the government and Dahal on the party affairs with executive authority.
Both the presidents agreed to self-criticism, to abide by the party’s instructions. The party and the government will be run as per the mutual understanding of the Chair duo. Statutory agreements held between the two leaders will be duly followed and party committees will be made more effective. They realised that fractions and sub-fractions would ultimately ruin the party and vowed that they will not let such elements surface again. Let’s trust the NCP leaders, who will now onwards focus in nation building rather than in internal political bickering.
Differences and intra-party conflicts are quite natural but when they reach the level of personal attack and revenge, they become destructive. The NCP’s internal feud was not the outcome of differences in political principle and theory, but was just a personality cult. Prime Minister Oli and Prachanda were in fact staunch critique of each other before uniting the party. Oli was the only leader of the CPN-UML who used to challenge the underground Maoist labeled as terrorist force. One could never imagine one day Oli and Prachanda will unify the party and form a powerful communist party in Nepal. But it was transformed into reality.
There seems to be a problem in conventional politics and practice. The politics tells us how and when to acquire power. But it tells little about what one can do and should do when power is achieved. The nature of power looks like parochial and narrow-minded; it takes forceful measures to achieve the goals. The same political party demonstrates ruling character and the same party shows the attributes of the opposition party on the same agenda within the short span of time. The nine-month long government is the evident of this deteriorating politics.
NCP has not shown such dual character since it is new party and it has thumbing majority to rule. Similary, the party is under a strong vigilance of people, who had voted it for expecting stability in governance with transparency. Prime Minister Oli’s policy of ‘zero tolerance’ against corruption has been applauded by all. Despite an allegation in a couple of cases involving ministers, Prime Minister’s commitment cannot be questioned.
We should note that the political parties are the part and parcel of democracy and they should be actively involved in building opinion. They are the central elements of functional democracy. One can hate the politics but cannot ignore the political parties, which give life to the politics. One can say the parties are corrupt and they have no vision to lead the nation in meeting 21-century challenges. One can try to embrace the existing better parties and find out the even better one. Despising politics can never be a solution; rather, such attitudes promote hatred and frustration.
Therefore in democracy, the alternative of the politics is politics itself and alternative of the political parties is again the political parties. Better politics and better political parties are the need of the hour. The unprecedented wrangling seen in the core leadership of NCP and the ‘U-turn’ solution carry the same political trend. The alternative of Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli is again the Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli. Among the contemporary politicians, there is no better option for the Prime Minister than Prime Minister Oli.
The two week long high-voltage political drama staged within the party and the leaders came in consensus to resolve the problems with unity leaving aside the misunderstandings. The leaders showed their strengths, flexed their muscles and indulged in utter rhetorical war but at the end, they had no options than to agree. They openly and unconditionally discussed and found the middle path solution.
All leaders took a long breath since they all were in danger zone, all were supposed to lose than to win. Not only the crisis was averted but an opportunity has been created to further unify the party. The two pilots, who were given charge of the NCP, have realised that they have to land the plane in the destination set collectively by the party leadership.
But here comes the characteristics of the conventional political theory. Power is achieved but there lacks proper coordination between the party and government, even in the different portfolios of the government. In developing nations like Nepal, it has been a problem. Democracy was restored in 1990 overthrowing monarchy but the democratic parties could not handle the system properly and it was again questioned. Prachanda succeeded to lead the people’s war for ten years and safely landed the war in the peace process. But he could not keep the CPN-M intact in over-ground politics, cycle of internal division has become the phenomenon in the party.
Nepali people’s dream came true when the constitution was promulgated through the Constituent Assembly directly elected by the people. Nepal introduced the best governing model of Federal Republic with three-tier governments and complete autonomy to the local government. Multiculturalism has been the major features of the constitution. Though we are still in trial we cannot go back to the unilateral system. Nepali constitution has been recognised as one of the best constitutions of the world in terms rights bestowed to the people.
Nothing is wrong to raise questions in the new set up if they have come with good intention to correct the practical weaknesses. But when the conspiracy is hatched to demolish the whole structure achieved by peoples strength, they should be denounced. NCP’s internal conflict is in fact the result of structural adjustment not only in the party rank and file but also in the government. The leaders, coming out from the conventional political features, will be able to restore strong unity, guaranteeing political stability.
(Khanal is consulting editor at Gorkhapatra Corporation. [email protected]) This article first appeared in The Rising Nepal.