Elections to Constituent Assembly II – Voice of the Voiceless People of Nepal

TRANSCEND MEMBERS, 28 Oct 2013

Prof Bishnu Pathak – TRANSCEND Media Service

Abstract

Although the Constituent Assembly election is more than half a century old demand of Nepalese leaders, the issue has never been widely debated or contested among the great majority of voiceless people. These voiceless people are tired of hearing dissident, anti-polls, and competitive voices of the political parties blaming one another for the dissolution of the previous constituent assembly without admitting their own faults during its 4-year long tenure. The voiceless people, therefore,  have obvious doubt whether the Second Constituent Assembly (CA II) elections will be held inclusively, credibly, freely, and fairly, if at all. Even if the elections are held successfully, there is no guarantee that a new constitution will be promulgated in time, since sharp differences still prevail over the number, name, type, structure, and autonomy concerned with the issue of federalism and the extent of the right to self determination. Leaders of all political parties seem to have low self-esteem when they are confronted with the people’s queries. Even their duly nominated candidates find themselves in quandary ever since a prominent candidate was shot by unidentified criminals. The principles that are helpful in our national interest must have been agreed upon to set up scaffolding for a new constitution. People are confused regarding a probable end-result when they see around the same political leaders with their old attitude, behavior, and context (ABC), the same politico-ideological parties, and their candidates with the same top-down approach to contest the elections. The dissident 33-party alliance, particularly CPN-Maoist, has decided to actively boycott the polls. The Yuba Dasta (Youth Forces) mainly consists of former Maoist Army personnel and it has already been mobilized in each constituency after one-week training on military and political tactics to disrupt the polls that is already initiated against the election campaigners and candidates. When we observe general elections trends over the past five decades, we find that communist parties have gradually increased both the number of votes and seats, whereas the right-wing parties have been unable to attract voters due to the lack of populist agendas. The communist parties can attract voters even through their slogans against Indian hegemony, although their leaders seem under the influence of Indian power policy. The CA I had failed chiefly due to the lilliputian mentality of Nepali leaders and the vested interests of India. Voiceless people have a fear whether the Sikkim’s fate repeat in Nepal while leaders do not stand by their own foots, but by Baishakhi (standard crutches) of Indian power politics. India’s superiority complex leaves her alone in South Asian community. It is likely that the number of elected representatives from the national parties in CA II may go down, since there are 116 cultural/regional parties contesting in the CA II elections while there were 52 such parties in CA I.

1. Setting

The term “voiceless” represent from among the people who live both at countryside and urban center, but their voice do not necessarily influence the policy formation or decision making at the center. They are the neutral people in all professions often used as elevators by the parties and leaders for their specific purpose, simply vote-banks.

Why did the First Constituent Assembly (CA I) dissolve? What roles the political parties play to prevent its dissolution? Who were responsible for its failure? Why were the elections to the Second Constituent Assembly (CA II) announced? Who has been behind such proclamation? Will CA II really happen? If the elections to CA II are held successfully, will constitution writing go ahead smoothly? Who will guarantee the promulgation of a new constitution according to the schedule? Have elections for a constituent assembly held a second time anywhere in the world? The great majority of voiceless people often ask such questions to their respective leaders, but the leaders often have no answer, but they do not forget to assure and brag that a new constitution will be written this time. The voiceless innocent people often get confused when they find leaders of a political party blaming the leaders of all other parties but their own role for the evitable dissolution of CA I.

An analytical cum descriptive paper has been prepared based on the primary data and information gathered from yesterday, interpretations relevant for today, and identifying possible scenario for tomorrow. Secondary literatures have also been drawn as review materials to conclude this study.

  1. 1.     Introduction

Nepalese people’s desire to proclaim a People’s Constitution through constituent assembly is not a new phenomenon. Adoption of a constitution drafted by the elected representatives of constituent assembly is a 6-decade old demand. The demand emerged along with the formation of political parties around the end of Ranaism in 1950. But, it was the historic 12-point understanding signed among the concerned forces in New Delhi on November 21st 2005 that paved the way for the subsequent announcement of People’s Movement II against the absolute monarchial rule and initiated a new political discourse in Nepal. The 19-day Great General Strikes (April 6-25, 2006) in the name of People’s Movement II finally compelled the kingdom to hold CA elections on April 10th 2008. The unicameral body finally elected 601 members through the electoral system that comprised of 40 percent first-past-the-post (FPTP) candidates, 56 percent proportional representatives (PR) and 4 percent seats Reserved for Distinguished Personalities (RDPs). The CA I dissolved on May 27th 2012 without delivering a new constitution in four years, including the initial tenure of two years normal and extended tenure of two more. Poor Nepal spent Rs 13 billion (US$ 132.65 million) for the elections of 601members, their salaries and their perks. Kanak Mani Dixit writes, “The working of the Sambidhan Sabha of Nepal provides a guide on how not to write a constitution. The Constituent Assembly was meant to be a place for discovery, healing, and nation-building but it ended up as a divisive arena that neglected jurisprudence and succumbed to radical populism” (Dixit: August 4, 2012:35).

While Nepal is experiencing syndicate-ism in all quarters, the four major political parties signed an 11-point deal to hold CA II elections on March 13th 2013 following the syndicate like decision in politics and administration. The deal agreed upon to lead an Interim Electoral Council (IEC) chaired by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. They agreed to form an Interim Elections Government (IEG) of technocrats (monocrats) as they failed to evolve a consensus government from among the political leaders. The four-party syndicate decided to put forward a 25-point proposal to the President to amend the Interim Constitution (IC) removing the existing constitutional hurdles and difficulties in order to form a new IEG based on the 11-point agreement outlined below:

  • Structure of the Government and its Duties and Responsibilities: The elections to CA II should be held by June 21st 2013 for which an IEC should be formed comprising a Chairperson and Ministers. The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court should chair the IEC, who would carry out all the functions and tasks similar to those of the prime minister and the chair of the council of ministers (CoMs) to be appointed from among the ex-civil service officers. All the tasks of the Chief Justice would be carried out by the Acting Chief Justice in accordance with the democratic norms and principles of an independent judiciary, separation of powers, and checks and balances. The maximum number of the members of the Council of Ministers would be 11. The tenure of the IEC of Ministers would automatically come to an end as soon as a new Prime Minister is duly elected after the CA II elections. If, for any reason, CA II could not happen by the stipulated time, the CoMs would fix another date not later than December 15th 2013 for CA II elections in accordance with the recommendation from the High-Level Political Committee (HLPC).
  • Jurisdiction of High-Level Political Committee: An HLPC from among the major parties should be formed to assist the Technocratic Government. The HLPC would create a conducive atmosphere to work toward maintaining consensus among the political parties and to hold the CA II elections successfully.
  • Number of Constituent Assembly Members: There would be altogether 491 members in the CA, representing all castes and ethnicities, women, Dalits, and other oppressed and backward communities. Of them, 240 would be elected according to the FPTP electoral system, 240 would be elected through the PR system and remaining 11 would be nominated from among the distinguished personalities by the Council of Ministers on the basis of political consensus.
  • Voters’ List: All Nepali citizens having attained the age of 18 years on a date as fixed by the Elections Commission (EC) would be eligible to vote for the CA II elections and the voters’ list would be updated on the basis of citizenship certificate, land ownership certificate, or any other identity card duly issued by the government.
  • Remove Constitutional Difficulties: All relevant constitutional difficulties and hurdles would be removed by the President in accordance with the recommendation of the CoMs, which would have prior approval from the HLPC.
  • Necessary Arrangements: The EC would make all the necessary legal and other arrangements in consultation with the political parties in order to conduct fresh elections. Necessary constitutional arrangements would also be made for appointment in vacant posts in the constitutional bodies, including the Supreme Court, as early as possible.
  • Peace Process: All the remaining tasks of the peace process would be completed soon. The ranks of combatants of the former Maoist Army, who are now in Nepal Army training, would be taken into consideration by the Army Integration Special Committee as per the past agreements and in accordance with the outcome of the training, practice, and procedures. Necessary laws would be formulated to establish the Commission on Truth and Reconciliation and Forced Disappearance. The UCPN-Maoist would fully cooperate in the process to immediately return the property including land and houses that were seized during the insurgency.
  • Citizenship: Children of Nepali citizens who have acquired citizenship by birth would be provided certificates of Nepali citizenship by descent to all those who stand eligible.
  • Local Body Elections: The CA II would fix the date of elections for the local bodies by April 13th 2014.

In pursuance of the 11-point agreement among the four major parties, the President approved the 25-point proposal prepared by them and recommended by the CoMs, Government of Nepal (GoN) to remove the constitutional hurdles and difficulties. On the Power to Remove Difficulties, Article 158 of the IC says, “If any difficulty arises in connection with the implementation of this Constitution, the Council of Ministers may issue necessary orders to remove such difficulties, and such orders shall have to be endorsed by the Legislature-Parliament or the Constituent Assembly within a month.” The presidential decree was resorted because Nepal was without the Legislative-Parliament. The president applied the power as stipulated through the fourth amendment of the IC on May 29th 2008. Article 36A states that there would be a President in Nepal, who would be the Head of State and so s/he would perform his/her duties in pursuant to the Constitution and other existing laws. The main responsibility of the President would be to protect and facilitate compliance of the Constitution. An excerpt of the 25-point proposal is given below:

  • Elections for CA II elections shall be held within December 15th 2013 (in lieu of the earlier provision under Article 33 [a] of the IC of that the elections to CA would be held within April 12th 2008).
  • The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court shall chair the GoN and appoint the Council of Ministers (in lieu of the provision under Article 38.1 of the IC that the CA would appoint the Prime Minister who would form a CoMs under his/her chairpersonship from among the CA members).
  • The CoMs would be formed from among the persons retired from special class of the civil service with a view to maintain impartiality to hold the CA elections (in lieu of the provision under Article 38.3 of the IC).
  • Alongside Articles 38.5 and 38.8 of the IC by which the Prime Minister appoints Deputy PM, Minister, State Minister, and Assistant Minister on the recommendation of the concerned party (ies), the Chair of the CoMs would appoint them directly. And as in Article 40 of the IC, political consensus for such appointments would be needed.
  • In pursuance of Article 63.3 of the IC by which one member is elected from each of the 240 constituencies under the FPTP system, a Constituency Delimitation Commission would be formed in accordance with Article 154.A for possible demarcation, although the total number of the constituencies would remain the same at 240 as in the 2008 elections. However, the number of PR representatives would also be 240 instead of the earlier 335 (Article 63.3). Similarly, mere 11 members shall be nominated by the Council of Ministers on the basis of political consensus instead of 26 provisioned before.
  • All Nepalese citizens having attained the age of 18 years by the end of December 15th 2006 would be eligible to vote (Article 63.7) in the forthcoming CA elections in accordance with the electoral rolls prepared by the EC pursuant to Section 11 of Electoral Rolls Act 2006 and Electoral Rules 2007;
    • In place of Part 9 of the IC providing estimates of revenues and expenditures for introducing the Legislature-Parliament, the CoMs formed by the chairperson would take necessary action and submit its proposal for approval in line with Article 88 of the IC;
    • As opposed to Article 106.1 of the IC which restricts the duty of the Chief Justice refraining from any assignment other than relating to justice, the council of ministers would be formed under the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. And so, the senior most justice of the Supreme Court would act as the Acting Chief Justice in accordance with Article 103.4 of the IC for total commitment toward independence of judiciary and the rule of law. The Acting Chief Justice would replace the word ‘Chief Justice’ in the IC and other laws and he would preside over the Judicial Council and Judiciary Services Commission (Article 113.1 and 114.2).
    • A new party, in order to register it with the EC, would require to submit the signatures of 10,000 voters according Article 142.5 of the IC. However, the parties that had taken part in the 2008 CA elections need not collect such signatures.
    • According to Article 155.1, a parliamentary hearing is required before any appointment in a constitutional post. The hearing for the judges and ambassadors would  be held within one month from the date of commencement of the session of the Legislature-Parliament after the forthcoming CA II elections;
    • Upon recommendation of the Council of Ministers, the President might issue an order according to Article 158 of the IC to remove difficulties. Such order would be endorsed within one month from the date of commencement of the session of the Legislature-Parliament of the CA II;

In regards of a Bill regarding the amendment or repeal of any Article of the IC shall be presented at the Legislature-Parliament and such Bill shall be approved by at least two-thirds majority of the total number of members present therein for the time being, stated in the Article 148. While there was no Legislative-Parliament or Constituent Assembly, the four parties made a consensus for recommendation to 25-point proposal to the GoN for their approval through the presidential decree.

After several rounds of formal and informal talks with dissident or anti-polls political parties the Madhesi People’s Rights Forum, Nepal (MPRF-N) and Federal Democratic Front (FDF), the HLPC agreed to sign six-point and five-point agreements on August 15th 2013 and September 5th 2013 respectively.  The six-point deal finally agreed to increase the size of the CA from 491 to 585 seats including 240 from FPTP, 335 from the PR system and the remaining 10 from distinguished personalities. The five-point agreement finally agreed to make 601-member Constituent Assembly similar to 2008 CA seats. On September 17th 2013, the President endorsed an ordinance put forwarded by the GoN to enhance the number of CA members to 601seats (Republica: September 18, 2013).

On September 24th 2013, the President issued an ordinance third time on removing constitutional difficulties in deploying Nepal Army during the CA II elections a day after the GoN forwarded to his office. It is to be remarkable that president shall mobilize the NA in natural calamities on the recommendation of Council of Ministers, but such deployment shall be endorsed by the Legislature-Parliament within a month of such decision.

The decisive roles of the High Level Political Committee set up by four major political parties namely UCPN-Maoist, Nepali Congress, CPN-UML, and United Democratic Madhesi Front either in forming the Interim Electoral Government or amending Interim Constitution is being questioned for its legitimacy. The questions of legitimacy further raised while 130 parties registered to the Election Commission to contest the elections to CA II. The 33-party alliance led by the CPN-Maoist protested to four parties’ legitimacy on both 11-point agreement and 25-point amendment in the Interim Constitution. Building consensus among the political parties remains another challenge. The UCPN-Maoist is no longer “Unified”, and both Prachanda and Dr. Bhattarai are yet recognize the reality and the need to deal with their former comrades who have the potential to disrupt the process (Asian Centre for Human Rights: May 13th 2013:3).

The amendment of 25-point proposal and again revision to them through the major parties’ political consensus shall be a beginning to introduce autocratic system in Nepal. Moreover, the appointment of Chief Justice as a Chair of the Interim Elections Government is against the norms and principles of democracy, rule of law or the theory of separation of power, and multi-party system. The Government headed by technocrat is monocracy that itself proves failure of democrats, present leaders, and democracy in Nepal. Indeed, Nepal has given a birth of many leaders for their own family members, near and dear ones, cadres and his/her party, but Nepal dearths of national leader similar to Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru in India, Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping in China, Nelson Mandela in South Africa, Mohammad Mathir in Malaysia, and Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva “Lula” in Brazil.

  1. 2.     Constituent Assembly and its Practice in the World

Only 29 countries in the world so far have successfully made constitution through constituent assembly; the first such assembly announced was the National Constituent Assembly of France in 1789. In 19th century, three countries followed the French model of constitution making, namely Norway in 1814 through Norwegian National Assembly, Belgium in 1830 through National Congress, and Luxemburg in 1848. In 20th century, a total of 17 countries held constituent assembly elections, viz. Russia (1918), Germany (1919), Georgia (1919), Lithuania (1920), Estonia (1920 and 1992), Ireland (1922), Syria (1930), China (1946), Italy (1946), India (1946), Pakistan (1947), Indonesia (1956), El Salvador (1982), Peru (1979 and 1992), Colombia (1991), South Africa (1993), and Venezuela (1999). In 21st century, so far 8 countries have held elections for a constituent assembly, viz. Iraq (2005), Montenegro (2006), Ecuador (2007), Bolivia (2008), Nepal (2008), Philippines (2010), Iceland (2010), and Ukraine (2012). (Pathak: July 8, 2008: 1-4).

Only two countries, Estonia and Peru held two Constituent Assemblies in two regimes. Estonia followed Constituent Assembly in two regimes: parliamentary democratic republic in 1920 and Supreme Soviet of the Estonian Soviet Socialist Republic and Congress of Estonia in 1992 (Taagepera: 1994: 211-212). The CA of Peru was condoned by the military dictatorship of Francisco in 1978, which promulgated a new constitution in a year. Francisco had included a few civil liberties returning democratic rule in 1980. A new and fully democratic constitution was again drafted through the Democratic Constitution Congress in Alberto Fujimori regime in 1992 (Moron et al: January 2004: 7-13).

The French Assembly initiated the constitution drafting process when it first abolished feudalism and had announced Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen in August 1789 and had finally proclaimed in September 1791. A Republic was proclaimed by the Legislative-Assembly one year later in September 1792. That period was also known as French Revolution (Tackett: 2003:54-64).

The Constituent Assembly of India was served as its first Parliament as an independent nation in which the CA members were elected directly not by universal adult franchise, but from British established Provincial Legislative Assembly as one-party body in a one-party nation. However, Muslims and Sikhs were selected as special representation in the name of minorities. It was set up for the purpose of drafting a New Constitution for India where the first meeting held in New Delhi in December 9th 1946. The CA had 217 representatives including 5 women. The Assembly held 11 sessions with a total of 166 working days in two years, 11 months, and 17 days in which a New Constitution was promulgated on January 26th 1950 under the leadership of Dr. Rajendra Prasad, Jawaharlal Nehru, and Dr. B. R. Ambedkar. The CA later transform to Provincial Parliament of India which had continued until first General Elections took place in 1952 (Maitra: 2012: 312-317 & Austin: 1999).

Similar to other socialist parties in the Russia, the Bolshevik led by Vladimir Lenin supported the elections to a Constituent Assembly in the wake of the October Revolution in November 1917. Lenin advocated the CA as the highest platform of the social democracy. The major purpose of the CA had been to draft a New Constitution in favor of the peasants and the workers. Bolshevik wanted to oust the bourgeois Provincial Government and Petrograd Soviet whereas Socialist Revolutionary advocated that it is premature for its implementation while they believed on bourgeois democracy. The election to CA held on November 25th 1917 where Bolshevik elected 175 members in constituencies (24 %) in comparison to 410 members (53 %) of Socialist Revolutionary Party (SRP) out of 703 seats. Bolshevik won the election at their controlled urban areas, but SRP elected from the countryside peasants’ areas (Radkey: 1950).

Bolshevik was not satisfied with the results of the CA while middle class people received the majority. Bolshevik changed its former stand of CA and advocated to dissolve the CA. As Lenin had an influence with the members of Socialist Revolutionaries (SRs), the SRs split into Left wing and Right wing. The Left-wing favored the dissolution of the CA. On January 18th 1918, while some middle class people, students, and professionals gathered in Petrograd (the capital of Russian empire) in support of the CA, the soldiers loyal with Bolshevik-Left SRs Soviet Government shot few of them and dispersed the masses. Even though, the CA first meeting was held in Tauride Palace in Petrograd for 12 hours, starting from 4.00 pm to 4.30 am next morning. While socialist revolutionaries opposed to defunct CA and demanded to hold the new elections, the speaker of the CA read an already prepared statement of dissolution of the CA (prepared by the Bolshevik- Left SRs) and walked out. Lenin instructed the soldiers for not to use force against the CA members, but to wait until they left-out by their own from the palace. The CA members sloganeered against the decision of CA dissolution for a while and left the Palace. The guard finally closed the door of CA meeting hall and locked down the building. Thus, the CA ended without a New Constitution (Laver: 2002, Philips: 2003 and Rodgers: 2000).

The National Constituent Assembly was formed by the several parliamentary bodies that existed in the People’s Republic of China. The Assembly was established in 1913 as the first bicameral legislative body in Chinese history, but broke up less than a year while president assumed that it worked as anti-dictatorial rule. The Assembly was the platform of the revolutionaries and overthrew the traditional regimes. The voters chose electors and electors picked up provincial delegates and Senate by delegates. That was called the indirect elections process (www.wikipedia.org).

The last Assembly was formed the framework of the 1947 New Constitution of the People’s Republic of China through Constitutional Convention and Electoral College. It transplanted Taiwan in 1949 as lost mainland China in the Chinese Civil War after Kuomintang (KMT). Under a New Constitution, the principal duty of the National Convention was to elect the President and Vice President for six years terms and it had also the right to call back to both if they failed to compliance their responsibilities. The National Assembly shall amend the Constitution by a two-thirds majority. The National Assembly which had first elected was continued from 1947 to 1991, until the constitutional ruling elected the second National Assembly. The Assembly plays active roles to elect both President and the Vice President, constitutional amendment, hearing of the President’s National Address, and approve president’s nominations. The Assembly is permanently known as constitutional convention (www.wikipedia.org).

The preamble of the National Constituent Assembly of the Republic of China states, “… by virtue of the mandate received from the whole body of citizens, in accordance with the teachings bequeathed by Dr. Sun Yat-sen in founding the Republic China, and in order to consolidate the authority of the State, safeguard the rights of people, ensure social tranquility, and promote the welfare of the people, do hereby adopt this Constitution to be promulgated throughout the land for faithful and perpetual observance by one and all” (www.wikipedia.org).

On the course of formal transition from apartheid to constitutional democracy, South Africa established 34-point immutable Constitutional Principles. The New Constitution was designed under the leadership of Nelson Mandela in the changed political context which was started along with the negotiations of the Interim Constitution in December 1993. The complex negotiation process of all parties provided the guidelines for democratic elections for the Constituent Assembly help on April 27th 1994. Political parties also reached on conclusion of 34 Constitutional Principles to the Interim Constitution (Simeon: 1998:1). The preamble of the IC stated that there shall be equality between men and women and people of all races so that all citizens shall be able to enjoy and exercise their fundamental rights and freedoms.

The IC provided CA consisted of two houses: (i) a 400-member National Assembly directly elected by pasty-list proportional representation and a 90-member senate elected by the provincial legislature.  A New Constitution shall be adopted through two-thirds majority of the CA. In case two-thirds could not be obtained, a constitutional text cold be adopted by a simple majority and shall formally be adopted by a national referendum with 60 percent support. The IC contained 34 principles in which excerpts outlined here. The principles include supremacy of the constitution, multiparty democracy, universal adult suffrage, non-racism and non-sexism, a quasi-federal system with centralized government, equality before the law, separation of powers including impartial judiciary, protection of universal fundamental rights, freedoms and civil liberties, protection of diversity of cultures including languages, and democratic representation at provincial and local levels (Constitution of the Republic of South Africa Act 200 of 1993).

Those constitutional principles were to approve by the Constitutional Court. The 86 percent members of the CA adopted the new constitutional texts on May 8th 1996, but Constitutional Court refused its First Certification judgment while the draft of the new constitution did not comply with the immutable constitutional principles. On October 11th 1996, the CA adopted an amended constitutional text respecting the Court’s decision. The amended text was finally certified by the Court in its Second Certification judgment on December 4th 1996. On the auspicious occasion of the Human Rights Day, December 10th 1996, the Constitution was signed by President Mandela and officially published in the Government Gazette on December 18th 1996, but operation initiated on February 4th 1997 only (Brooke: Spring 2005).

  1. 3.     Existing Scenario to Constituent Assembly Elections

There has always been a crucial issue for debate on “how inclusive were the political parties in the past elections”? In the first general elections in 1991 after the restoration of democracy in 1990, 54 percent Bahun/Chhetri were elected in comparison of 34 percent in the last CA I. The representation of Bahun/Chhetri went down by 37 percent in the 2008 CA I. Only 4 percent Bahun/Rajput from Tarai-Madhes were elected in 1991 and equal numbers in 2008 CA I elections. However, the number of Dalits representations increased from 0.5 percent in 1991 to 8 percent in 2008 CA I (Khanal et al: 2012:98-100). There were no Dalits representations in mid-term and third general elections in 1994 and 1999 respectively. However, their 8 percent share was still considerably lower than their population ratio of 13 percent (Gelpke: June 2013:1).

The numbers of the Hill Janajatis elected 18 percent in the 1991 elections slightly increased to 21 percent in the CA I polls whereas Tarai Janajatis decreased by 1 percent in the CA I in comparison of 9 percent in the 1991 elections. Similarly, the representation of the Newar community in the 2008 CA I lowered down by 3 percent from 8 in the 1991 elections. The members of the CA I from Tarai-Madhes were significantly increased by three-fold 16 percent from 5 percent in 1991 elections. Similarly, ten times more women were elected in the 2008 CA than 3 percent in the 1991 elections (Thapa: September 26, 2013 and cf Lawati: September 10, 2013).

In the CA I, combining the FPTP and PR, the Maoists received 39 percent votes whereas the NC received 19 percent, UML 18 percent, and Madhesi Janadhikar Forum (MJF) 9 percent. Holding 220 out of 601 seats, the UCPN-Maoist became the largest faction in the CA I (BTI: 2012:4). The communist forces had received 40 percent in the last parliamentary elections of April 1999, but the same forces accumulated 61 percent more votes and thus bear the prime responsibility of drafting and ratifying the new constitution on consensus. However, the foreign forces particularly succeeded to divide the communist forces into left, ultra-left, and ultra-right following the divide and rule policy. Out of 240 seats from FPTP, women received 12 percent (29-member), of which Maoists comprised 10 percent (23-member). It is to be noted that those with a younger, dynamic, and clean image members were elected in the 2008 polls rather than those with old ideologies, attitudes, and methods such as NC and UML. The representatives between the 25-40 year age group made up 60 percent of the Maoists, whereas in the NC they made 8 percent, UML 12 percent, and MJF 47 percent (Pathak: April 30, 2008: 1).

The Election Commission had registered 12.38 million voters which is less by 11 percent in comparison of the 2008 elections registration. Voters’ number went down owing to EC’s introduction of biometric ID card containing photo and digital record of the voter in 2013 against the voters’ registration from multiple districts in 2008. Large numbers of fake voters from India also registered in the last CA I in bordering Tarai-Madhes districts of Nepal for the purpose to foul political play in the elections.

The 2008 elections defeated some of the stalwart leaders such as Nepali Congress President Sushil Koirala and UML senior leaders Madhav Nepal, and K P Oli. Nepal’s political parties often failed to compliance the people’s vote with the norms of democracy. For example, Madhav Nepal who was defeated from two constituencies became Prime Minister of Nepal on the recommendation of Prachanda. Thus, Nepal’s democracy started to play as demon and crazy (Pathak: 2005).

In October 4th 2013, a total of 6,354 candidates in 240 constituencies from all 120 parties including 1,219 (19%) independent candidates have registered their name in the FPTP CA II elections. The Election Commission annulled 11 candidates who could not meet the standards of the CA Elections Act. Of them 6,343, 185 (3%) candidates withdrew from FPTP contest (Election Commission: October 8th 2013). Only 672 (10.6%) women including 69 (1%) independent women candidates and only one third gender candidate are contesting in the FPTP. The registration of third gender is the first case of Nepal. It is to be notwithstanding that the political parties nominated women candidates in weak constituencies where they are sure to be defeated. For instance, Sushila Karki of Nepali Congress is competing with UML chair Jhala Nath Khanal from Constituency no. 1, Sarlahi district; Bijaya Dhital of UML candidate with Nepali Congress chair Sushil Koirala from Constituency no. 3, Banke district; Pratima Gautam of NC and Nilam Burma of National Madhes Socialist Party with ex-Prime Minister Madhav Nepal from Constituency no. 2, Kathmandu and constituency no. 1, Rautahat district respectively; and Lila Bhandari of UML with ex-Prime Minister (of NC) Sher Bahadur Deuba from Constituency no. 6, Kailali district (Ghimire: October 8, 2013:3). These are a few examples alone.

Major political parties seem less inclusive in terms of nomination of women, Janajatis, and Dalits in the CA II than 2008 CA I elections. The three major parties such as CPN-Maoist, NC, and UML fielded just 12 percent women candidate in the CA II. Among them, the UCPN-Maoist fielded only 29 women, 71 Janajatis, and 9 Dalits candidates in the FPTP at CA II, which is less by two-thirds (67) percent, 11 percent, and 53 percent respectively in comparison to CA I. Nepali Congress fielded just 22 women candidate in CA II in comparison of 26 in the CA I, but no Dalit candidate in the CA II for the FPTP unlike 1 in 2008 elections.  The CPN-UML nominated 6 Dalit candidates which is cent-percent more than the last CA I. But 11 percent less women candidates and 5 percent more Janajatis are being contested by the UML this time in the FPTP. In 601-member CA I, there were 197 women representatives of which 163 were nominated by parties under the PR system, 30 others were elected under FPTP system, and the remaining four were nominated by the government (Republica: October 7, 2013: 1).

However, the Maoist leadership failed to nominate single former commander of the Maoist Army out of 9 recommended by the District Committees except former Maoist Army Chief Nanda Kishor Pun under the FPTP.  The Maoists leadership may face a severe consequence, by their own past army and colleagues as they could not evaluate their sacrifice during a decade old Maoist People’s War (1996-2006). Ex-YCL (Young Communist League) cadre Padam Kunwar who had slapped on the face of Prachanda in a public program also registered bagi (rebel) candidacy in Prachanda’s Constituency no. 10 in Kathmandu. Bagi means the member who is not satisfied by the decision of district committee or central committee of selecting the candidate of his or her party and thus file his/her candidacy.

A hope of ray to both candidates and voters of that the elections shall be held on time could not last for a long and doubt begins while Mohammad Alam CPN-UML central committee member and candidate contesting from Constituency number-4, Bara district (central Tarai-Madhes) was shot andseriouslyinjured by the unidentified criminals at a broad-day light on October 4th 2013. He was on the way of elections campaign with his supporters. The attackers used a motorbike with Indian number plate (Yadav: October 5th 2013:1). He was airlifted soon to Kathmandu and hospitalized at Teaching Hospital, Maharajgunj, Kathmandu, but died on October 10th 2013.

Some defeated leaders and cadres in the last 2008 elections and new leaders of the political parties are very much encouraged by the CA II elections. Others have mix-reactions whether the CA II to be held on stipulated time. The great majority people, the ordinary voters have a doubt that the elections shall be conducted in fair, free, and peaceful environment. People have feared whether the elections resume chaos and bloodshed again similar to a decade of Maoist-launched People’s War as the 33-party alliance including the CPN-Maoist has already announced to boycott the elections. The chair of the Interim Elections Government stated that 80 percent people are ready to vote in this CA II. He indirectly accepted 20 percent strength has been with 33-party alliance.

The CPN-Maoist put forwarded the four-point demands seeking resignation from the post of Chief Justice (CJ) by the Chair of the Interim Elections Government, postpone the November 19 CA II elections to March/April next year, roundtable conferences to develop a common minimum understanding on contentious issues for constitution-writing similar the 34-constitutional principles in South Africa, and a party-led government as per Article 38 (1) of the Interim Constitution. The 38 Article in the IC tells the provision of the consensus government of the parties.

Even though, the CPN-Maoist formally stated that it is ready to accept an all-party government headed by Khil Raj Regmi again if he resigns from the post of the Chief Justice. On September 14th 2013, while all-party meeting was nearly to end fulfilling the CPN-Maoist demands of resignation of Regmi from the position of Chief Justice and postponing the CA II elections to March/April next year, India’s Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh visited in Nepal hastily same day. Same evening, Indian Embassy in Kathmandu invited all top leaders of the HLPC for the dinner-meeting and ordered for not to postpone elections scheduled for 19th November. The third round of all-party meeting in the presence of President of September 16th 2013 ended in a fiasco as top leaders of the HLPC refused to fulfill previously accepted demands. Secretary Singh’s visit remained succeeded while she disrupted the possible agreement between the HLPC and the CPN-Maoist. The deal shall open the CPN-Maoist to take part in the CA II elections.

Nepal shall be the first country (in terms of voters’ list 12.38 million) where 139 political parties registered in the EC to contest on the forthcoming CA II elections, but nine parties were disqualified as they could not furnish the requirement of the EC. Among 130 parties accepted by EC, only 124 parties applied for the participation in the Proportional Representation in the CA II elections. Six parties namely Rastriya Bikash Party, Samyukta Rastriya Janaparisad Nepal, Garib Janatako Krantikari Party, Rastriya Ekata Party, Rastriya Punarjagaran Party Nepal, and Rastriya Tharu Samaj Ekata Party did not register under the PRS on September 30th 2013. They may join their hands with anti-polls CPN-Maoist or others.

Unlike two politico-ideological systems such as conservative party vs. liberal party existing in the world, four different characteristic holding parties such as UCPN-Maoist, Nepal Congress, CPN-UML, and cultural parties find in Nepal. Nepali Congress acts as traditional or conservative or right wing party and others are liberal or left-wing parties. However, almost all of them have forgotten the path of political ideology. That is why they adopt separate identity-based strategy and tactic to attract the people as voters applying the age-old concept, “people are just vote bank of parties”. It means none of the political parties in the past followed their political manifesto after they won and led the Government. The four characteristic in the parties are of that the Nepali Congress is a party that adopts leader-based identity politics; UML cadre-based; Maoists mass-based; and the Tarai-Madhes culture-based (Pathak: May 2008:2).

The UCPN-Maoist grasped the state power twice after the CA I elections. They often undermine and ignore the agendas of conflict victims and/or conflict survivors, whereabouts disappeared people, formation of several commissions agreed on peace accord on 2006. Voiceless people now ask to concerned leaders: why should people vote for them?

People’s War particularly focuses either for liberation or martyr. A total of 32,250 former Maoist Army (MA) were registered at UNMIN in 2007. More than half MA may have joined with the CPN-Maoist and such Maoist Army may introduce revenge politics while large number of them could not be recruited into the Nepal Army. They have a strong sense of feeling of that leaders betrayed to them for the sake of their own and family’s benefits wiping out previous political ideology. The Maoist Army now has a motto – it is better to die rather than to be a coward.

On September 17th 2013, the CPN (Maoist) Vice-Chairman C P Gajurel speaking at the program organized by the Reporters Club in Kathmandu warned of obstructing the CA II elections if his party is bypassed in the elections. They will launch a various programs to actively boycott the elections. Gajurel asked candidates not to register nomination of their candidacy. If someone files nomination defying 33-party’s alliance to boycott, the candidates will either be abducted or taken into their custody or physically be annihilated.

Strongly criticizing the role of the HLPC of four parties who stooges of foreign forces similar to Lendup Dorjes, Mohan Baidya, chair of the CPN-Maoist appealed people to strongly boycott the CA II election and warned to promulgate the Constitution through the street. He challenged the GoN to hold the election bypassing his alliance. General Secretary Bam Bahadur Thapa of the CPN-Maoist said, “the party’s rank and file to be mentally prepared to even take up weapons, should the need arise, to disrupt the November 19 CA elections. He also vows to supply weapons to the cadres in every village to foil the CA II election at any cost. Thus, the party has already established Yuba Dasta (youth forces) consisting of former Maoist Army, volunteers and others. They have already been mobilized in the countryside providing one-week military and political training to disrupt the elections (http://www.weeklymirror.com.np).

Police in Butwal on September 19th 2013 arrested three former combatants of the Maoist Army on the charge of illegal weapons carrying to terrifying the villagers. On September 15th 2013, Jajarkot Police recovered huge cache weapons 44 (3-not-3) rifles and a two-inch mortar wrapped by sacks and hidden in jungle at Raniban (Nepaliheadlines: September 15th 2013). It is to be noted that weapons might have been looted during the Maoist launched People’s War.

A total of 16 districts comprising of 12-Tarai Madhes districts: Saptari, Siraha, Dhanusa, Mahottari, Sarlahi, Rautahat, Bara, Parsa, Dang, Nawalparasi, Kapilbastu, and Rupandehi and 4-hill and mountain districts:  Rolpa, Pyuthan, Kalikot and Taplejung are recognized as the most sensitive (Kathmandu Post: September 18, 2013) to hold elections. On the course to ensure security to voters, candidates, officials, polling stations, and ballot boxes, the Government has developed three security circles: protection to polling stations (core layer I), protection to voters (peripheral layer II), and protection to surrounding areas (outer layer III) through Integrated Security Plan (ISP) besides individual level security to each candidate. The layer I shall be secured by Nepal Police, layer II by Armed Police, and layer III by joint forces of Nepal Army, Armed Police, and Nepal Police. The ISP shall establish 1,562 and 3,850 polling stations under the most sensitive and sensitive categories (Gautam: September 18th 2013).

The Home Ministry tells that there are over 34,000 licensed weapons across the country. Kathmandu District Administration Offices (DAO) estimates there are over 11,000 registered weapons, but only 7,500 are renewed annually. The Home Ministry tries to submit all weapons temporarily following Arms and Ammunition Act-1962 before the elections begins on September 23, 2013 (Gautam: September 19th 2013).

In third week of September 2013, the Government of Nepal put forwarded four-tier of security mechanism to the Elections Commission focusing to the CA II elections. The security mechanism shall be: (i) Central Security Committee led by Home Minister, (ii)  Central Security Command headed by the Home Secretary, (iii) Regional Security Committees (in all five development regions) led by Chief of Regional Administration Offices, and (iv) District Security Committee (in all 75 districts) headed by the Chief District Officers. The GoN shall mobilize the 183,000 security forces comprising 62,000 from Nepal Army, 54,000 from Nepal Police, 22,000 from Armed Police Force, and 45,000 temporary security personnel (Home Ministry: September 22nd 2013.

While President approved to remove the difficulties of deployment of Nepal Army for polls on September 23rd 2013, Indian Ambassador to Nepal who appointed recently held meeting with Chief of the Army Staff (CoAS) in latter’s Headquarters same day. Does the protocol of diplomat, particularly Ambassador allow holding meeting with CoAS at Army headquarters? The Vienna Protocol 1961 restricts such meeting, but the army official of the concerned Embassy shall visit and hold meeting with the similar rank or officer.

The CoAS General Gaurav Sumsher Rana left for India on September 29th 2013 for a week – long visit. He initiated his visit when the government decided to deploy the army for the polls. The 33-party alliance, including CPN Maoists, stated that the army mobilization would be a violation of the Peace Accord signed in November 2006. Rana had completed his 10-day long visit to China during the end of July 2013. Every Nepali has a suspicion whether Rana is visiting India to share his views of recent visit to China similar to Bijaya Kumar Gachhadar, Deputy PM and Home Minister visited India immediately after returning from China in 2012. Even more noteworthy is the fact that Gachchhedar had clandestinely gone to the Indian Embassy in Kathmandu on the very next day of his return from China. Why does Rana need to visit India three times within 10 months, i.e. between January to November 2013? Isn’t India penetrating its power politics into Nepal Army? (Rawal: October 6th 2013: 22-25). It would be remarkable if Nepal Army, as it has always been, remained steadfast and neutral and away from any kind of external intervention and power politics. People have doubt whether India would ever succeed in taking Nepal Army into its fold in pursuance of its three-pillar policy.

October 4th 2013, the Nepalese CoAS gave an exclusive interview on regional politics at Chandigarh with Times of India (TOI). He said, “Indian Army is capable of giving strong response to China in case of an attack or war. China is too pre-occupied with the Tibetan issue. And, then there is Xinjiang region facing the separatist movement. The PLA cannot afford to enter India, or for that matter Nepal. Whether it’s the mighty Himalayas or the Indo-Gangetic plains, they have no reasons to make incursions into India. There are no provocations” (Kathmandu Post: October 6th 2013: 1). Ashok Mehta, retired Major General of the Indian Army and Nepal expert said, “An officiating Army chief should not be making a political comment like this. He acted like he was visiting here in the capacity of the prime minister. If he has not been misquoted, he has said that the incursion of the PLA into the Indian territory in Arunachal Pradesh and Ladakh is a common occurrence, which is an unauthorized and undiplomatic comments for an Army chief to make” (Dua: October 4th 2013 and Kathmandu Post: October 6th 2013: 1). The interview encouraged the strength of Indian Army and her politics humiliating People’s Liberation Army (China), Chinese people and Government.

Some commentator asked GoN to sack him with immediate effect while other stated for not to have made such comments which could be very costly for Nepal and could also affect the bilateral relation between Nepal and China and he has no right to speak regarding the cold war between two neighbors of ours (http://m.ekantipur.com/2013/10/06/fullnews/rana-draws-flak-for-china-remark/378990.html). General Rana enforces the controversial Fast Track Promotion system following sycophancy, favoritism, and nepotism. While the CoAS General Rana received huge public comments, Nepal Army spokesperson Jagadish Chandra Pokhrel refuted his formal and informal interview with journalists in his formal visit in India (Bhattarai: October 7th 2013: 1).

Supreme Court, a single bench of justice Tarka Raj Bhatta on September 23rd 2013 allows murder convicts to contest the polls who has already completed two years after serving his/her sentence. The candidates who are barred are: a candidate whose name is not listed in the voters’ list; an incumbent office bearer of the GoN, not completed two years punishment, who were convicted in corruption, trafficking, rape, money laundering, passport misuse, drug transportation, homicide, and loan defaulter of the bank and financial institution. That verdict allows the UCPN-Maoist leader Balkrishna Dhungel, a murder convict in the armed insurgency. The Supreme Court had convicted Dhungel on January 3rd 2010 murdering the Ujjan Kumar Shrestha, Okhaldunga (Himalayan Times: September 24, 2013: 1). A three special bench led by Girish Chandra Lal on September 26thhas challenged section 9 (e) of the CA Member Act issued the interim order to both GoN and the EC for not eligible to murder convicts in contesting elections. The latest decision corrected the court’s previous September 23rd verdict. That decision itself was an evidence of how much Justice Bhatta was influenced by power politics.

On July 11th 2013, former PMs Puspa Kamal Dahal, Baburam Bhattarai, Sher Bahadur Deuba, Jhalanath Khanal, Surya Bahadur Thapa, and Lokendra Bahadur Chand went to hotel to meet Indian External Affairs Minister breaching country’s diplomatic code of conduct protocol while he was in Kathmandu.

The Elections Commission has endorsed the elections code of conduct (CoC) on July 11th 2013 which clearly states does and does not, but has been effective from July 22nd 2013 only. The political parties shall allow to charter helicopters and airplanes in 11 remote and mountainous districts for the CA II elections campaign. The districts are: Solukhumbu, Manang, Mustang, Dolpa, Humla, Jumla, Mugu, Kalikot, Bajhang, Bajura, and Jajarkot. The parties should campaign at rest 64 districts which connect by roads. However, wealthy parties had opposed the EC’s CoC proposal of banning the use of helicopters and airplanes. The CoC is also fixed the elections expenditures such as FPTP to spend a maximum of NRs. 1 million and PRS to spend NRs. 75,000 by a candidate. The EC has banned wall-chalking, face painting, use of banners in the campaign. It has also fixed the monochrome posters by 180 sq. inches in size. It has urged all not to exceed NRs. 25,000 donations and furnish through bank vouchers and force donation is banned. The CoC has barred from appointing, promoting, and transferring Government officials without consent of the EC. Any party or candidate violates the CoC shall be fined up to NRs. 100,000 or disqualified or barred from contesting in the elections.

On October 28th 2013, the preliminary report of the General Election Observation Committee (GEOC) stated that there are rampant violations of the elections code of conduct. Observers ask the elections authorities and the Government to enforce the CoC effectively. The Election Commission has asked 24-hours clarification ‘why not to take action’ to former Deputy PM Gachhadar for rallying over 70 vehicles and 200 motor bikers in his constituency in Eastern Nepal. He is a man who almost spent entire time being a minister after the restoration of democracy in 1990. Several media, time and again, claim Gachhadar being involved in millions dollars of corruption, but no action is taken by the concerned authorities because of his close association with Indian power politics. Elections observers report that influential leaders are using more than two vehicles for campaign allocated by the code of conduct. Moreover, Indian number plate vehicles are common in Tarai-Madhas against the polls CoC.

The EC cautions the diplomats over ambassadors’ remarks to whom to vote for and should not vote for on September 25th 2013. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs asked the chiefs of foreign diplomatic missions not to forget their limits. The EC also instructed the Social Welfare Council (SWC) to monitor the activities of I/NGOs in line with the elections CoC. The commission enforces the elections of the CoC for I/NGOs as well. The EC urges all political parties, their sister organizations such as trade unions, school teachers, employees and college lecturers, and among others not to carry out any activities such as strikes, vehicle strikes, and so forth that disrupt the scheduled CA II elections.

The EC has permitted a total of 51 Election Observation Groups including two international and 49 national institutions to observe the polls. The international groups are the Carter Center and Asian Network for Free Elections. While the Election Commission has invited two European Union and United Nations to monitor the polls, 34 long-term observers are already deployed at countryside by the EU Election Observation Mission on October 17th 2013. About 74,000 observers shall deploy to take part for the polls.  Ten Elections Advisors of UN Department of Political Affairs have already arrived in Nepal in which two of them have been sent to each of the development region to assist local elections observers. The Carter Center has stated that US former President has shown interest to participate even this election too (Kathmandu Post: September 21st 2013 and Spotlight: September 13th 2013).

The Election Commission has developed the definite parameters for the elections observers. The national election observer must have at least 10 years working experiences with Bachelor’s Degree as qualification. Similarly, a district/constituency level observer should have five years of experiences holding an intermediate degree and village/city level observer must have at least School Leaving Certificate. The EC urged the observation organizations to furnish full reports within two months after the completion of elections.

In the last May 2008 CA I elections, large number of 148 domestic and 30 international organizations had deployed 60,000 observers, but only 23 national and five international organizations submitted their reports to the EC (Kathmandu Post: September 21st 2013). Many of them observed the polls for their own interest rather to produce reports. Some observed the elections just to submit their reports for their affiliated or concerned intelligence agencies, clandestinely.

Political leaders are repulsive of change in Nepal. They lack of new thoughts, vision, and strategy. They chose harmo manchhe (my candidate) rather than ramro manchhe (popular and honest candidate) in both FPTP and PR systems. Each mainstream party has tussle with their cadres from center to districts. It happens as they have lost trust, confidence, and hope owing to their past wrongdoings and misdeeds. They are self-and-family-centered just to cover up their bad history. Leaders talk a lot of change, but they are not changed. People ask for change, drastic change; leaders turns deaf ear. Leaders are afraid of change fearing of loss of their 4Ps of power, politics, property, and privilege. People look for drastic change on politico-ideology, strategy, and tactics of parties and leaderships. Nation’s fortune relies on its leaderships to go for progressive change.

An honest pro-people, pro-nation, pro-progress, pro-resource, and committed leader is today’s urgency in Nepal. He/she should carry on a true humanitarian leadership for the sake of people and the nation. Such honest voice could not reach at grassroots people as media are often owned and controlled by parties and leaders. Moreover, tycoon media have well flourished just to stop the progressive realization and the voices for change. Thus, people-centered a new revolution is no far for drastic and positive change. A new revolution wipeout all old feudal based-structure, power-based socio-cultural identity, bourgeois-based economy, worldwide failed ideologies, and lilliputian mentality. Change is not only desirable in Nepal, all over the world. No one can stop the change. Even the nature cannot escape for unchanged. The change is possible. The real sense of change is only possible once the rays of hopes grow in the youths; they capacitate, and get an opportunity to participate in country’s development process.

The people who fought for a nation are being marginalized as voiceless whereas the anti-nationalists are becoming the lord of nation. Honest and committed people are seeking independent sovereign nation, but their voices are nowhere in country’s mainstream power politics. Irresponsible, incomprehensible, irrelevant, and quagmire in bad governance have become the principal actors in Nepal. They are no less than a puppet of foreign power. These forces advocate the definition of democracy and monocracy twisting the universal theory and practice. Such trends leave a high impact on the forthcoming elections and a new Constitution making process for the long run. These opportunities put the leaders in vicious cycle for not to have realization of their rights and duties towards the nation and the people.

  1. 4.     India, Nepal and CA II Elections

Why did Interim Elections Government form to hold elections to CA II in Nepal? Was it declared spontaneously by Nepal or vested interest of foreign forces? Why did India wish to stop the CPN-Maoist to take part in the CA II elections? Why does anti-Indian sentiment flourish one-step further in Nepal? There are several positive and negative standpoints. India herself may wish to see stable, democratic, and prosperous Nepal with a good faith, friendship, and neighborhood. India has its own security interest for not supplying fake Indian currency and Muslim insurgents from the route of Nepal. India also provides huge financial, technical, and instrumental supports for the elections to CA II.

However, the positive works are being shadowed by the vested interests of India conducting behind the curtain. First, once the CA II elections postpone to next March and April 2014, India has a fear of that the UCPN-Maoist and CPN-Maoist may have either working alliance for the elections or unite into one party. Not only India, many other western nations who are against communist regimes in the world invested huge money, moral, political, advisory, and strategic supports to split the UCPN-Maoist party. The grand design was initiated when the Maoists became the largest party in the CA I. Such forces first traced out the weakness of the party and within its leadership. Then they hammered to wedge one step to another for further widening their differences (tillai pahad banaye). It was only possible through autalai kakha ra arkolai pakha (love-care one faction and hatred another). Prachanda-Baburam establishment faction was very much cared; but Baidya-Thapa faction was ignored. Tycoon media played a significant role to split them.

Second, if the UCPN and CPN-Maoist united, Indian communist revolutionaries shall also receive moral, technical, and strategical supports from Nepal. India very cautiously and strategically analyzed the lose-win game since holding the 12-point understandings among the Seven Parties Alliance and the CPN-Maoist. India had three-pillar propositions: weaken the Indian communist revolutionaries, compel them to accept dialogue and negotiation for mainstreaming politics, and continuously play a guardian role to Nepal and her leaders similar to her own provinces.

Third, India has neighbors, but no friendly relations with them. It means India has almost a bad relationship with all neighboring countries except Bhutan. Thus, India desires to put GoN and leaders of the mainstream parties, cultural parties, and bureaucrats under its control to counter anti-Indian sentiments mushrooming in Nepal. Because of age-old foreign policy, India never tried to bridge the gap between the Indian-authority and great majority people of her neighbors. India pays attention to vocal voices of RAW, but rare care of people’s need-based experts within and beyond lands.

Fourth, India focuses more to mainstream parties and leaders to compel Nepal to sign on the agreement on natural resources which are chiefly available across the country. General people have a feeling of that fulfillment of such interests shall only be possible if Nepal remains always in critical transition. The issue of elections may turn Nepal more critical and unstable.

Fifth, India has been playing a win-game policy in the name of Tibetan refugees in Nepal. If anyone Tibetan refugee reaches directly in India, she sends Kathmandu for his/her registration. It has two reasons:  not to confront directly with China and put Nepal on fireball of China. Once the stable Government establishes in Nepal after elections, such trends may stop.

Six, India in one point “to secede Tibet from China for not being superpower” has a close link with bourgeois democratic countries. China has a 4,075-km line of actual control with India (www.wikipedia.org), but restricts for transverse. There is a loose Nepo-China 1,415-km border security (www.wikipedia.org). Thus, these countries desire make Nepal of their playground.

Seventh, Nepal is a sovereign nation heading towards the process of ‘Sikkimization’ ‘Bhutanization’, and ‘Fijianization’ while most of the mainstream parties, almost all top leaders, bureaucrats, and technocrats are under control of 3Ps of power, politics, and property of India similar to referendum designed in Sikkim from 1967 to 1975. Sikkim’s elections was no less than vote tumara; admi hamara (votes of Sikkimise; leaders are ours-India)). The conscious and voiceless people in general have a fear of that whether the vote tumara; admi hamara repeats in Nepal in this CA II elections and thereafter. Moreover, Nepal’s economy is controlled by Indian industrialists, businessmen. India has two-thirds share in Nepal’s economy including foreign trade (Kathmandu Post: September 21st 2013: I) in which their donation intentionally use to elect their candidates stopping strong sense of sovereign and independent Nepal.

Eight, the Nepalese people who live near the border of India, are being suffered by the boarder encroachment, arbitrary arrest and detention, ransack and seizure, and looting by the Indian security forces. Without noticing Nepali authorities, India has built the dams near border of Indian side violating the international norms of dam construction and upper riparian water rights. On September 18th 2013 morning, armed Indian police personnel in two vehicles under the command of DSP of Lakhimpur district of Uttar Pradesh, India came to Gularia-9, the Headquarters of Bardia district, Western Nepal and ransacked the house of Manjur Prasad Shrestha on the alleged charge of that two Indian criminals are hiding into the house. While raid was completed, only Nepal police arrived. The CPN-Maoist said, “This is a blatant attack on Nepal’s sovereignty by the Indian rulers. The expansionist rulers of India must publicly apologize before the Nepali population for undermining Nepal’s sovereignty” (www.thetelegraph.com: September 19th 2013 and eKantipur.com: September 18, 2013). This is just an example.  None of the other political leaders speak a word on such intervention.

In 1,808 kilometer long Nepo-India border, there is dispute over 57 places in 26 districts as Nepal’s 70,000 hectares lands occupied by India (Shrestha: 2012). There are border disputes, conflicts, encroachment claims, and counterclaims ranging from the smallest one of two hectares in Sandakpur to the largest one of 37,000 hectares in Kalapani (eKantipur.com: December 26th 2009). India has border disputes with all her surrounding neighbors such as China, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka.

Nine, there has been a constant competition of leaders of the mainstream parties to receive official invitation from Indian Government or ruling party. Leaders go to India not to tell the problems and Nepalese people’s sufferings, but to receive blessings from Indian leaders and the Government for their own party and family’s bright fortune. Madhav Nepal became the Prime Minister of Nepal not because of that he was defeated by the people, but he was favored by India. The Prime Minister of India invited Prachanda in May 2013, Sher Bahadur Deuba in June 2013, Madhav Nepal in July 2013 and Sushil Koirala in August 2013. India Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh on her recent visit in Nepal invited Jhala Nath Khanal, Chiar of the CPN-UML to visit in India. His schedule of visit shall only be prepared by India seeing his stand as a chairman of the HLPC against the dissident 33-party alliance. Khanal was very much saddened as he was not invited by India despite of his great efforts of interest to visit India during his Premiership in Nepal.

All Nepali leaders have inferiority complex or “slave mentality” that they cannot success to reach in power without appeasing Indian authorities and leaders. Even the intellectuals, human rights activists, media persons, and professionals fear to write/speak against India’s wrongdoings thinking that they will be bypassed from opportunities in future. The killings to the Muslims leaders, cadres, and professionals by the criminals protected by Indian authority has made fearful to all conscious nationalist Nepalis.

Ten, India never agrees to revise Transit Treaty to export third-country goods from Nepal. The existing Nepo-India Transit Treaty prohibits exporting goods from Nepal to third countries via India. Nepal is a landlocked country and she has rights to export and import the goods to third countries via the shortest distance neighbor country’s ocean. It has ensured by the United Nations Conventions on the Law of the Sea (UBCLOS) which is also known as Law of the Sea Convention (LOSC). It defines the rights and responsibilities of nations in the use of the world’s oceans to ensure export and import for business and management of marine natural resources.

Eleven, Indian Ambassador to Kathmandu never follows Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations as s/he meets to the President, Prime Minister, and other top leaders without even informing to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Article 22 stated that a diplomatic mission such as an Embassy must not be entered or to hold meeting with president and so forth without receiving permission from the head of the mission or authority. Nepalese Ambassador in India always follows the diplomatic rule.

Twelve, anyone can have a look on the appointment of Lok Man Singh Karki, Chief of Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority, the most powerful constitutional body in Nepal. President was almost agreed to send back Karki’s recommendation to Constitutional Council because of huge public pressure till the evening, but President approved the recommendation at mid-night on May 14th 2013. Another example shall be taken as an appointment of Chief Justice Khil Raj Regmi as Chair of the Interim Elections Government (Chautari: March 13: 1). The CA I was dissolved on May 27th 2012. The Bhattarai-led Government tried last attempt to extend the term of the CA to another three months by bringing a bill in the Legislative-Parliament on May 22nd 2012. Two days later, the special bench of five-justices headed by Chief Justice Regmi struck down the bill on the ground of violation of the Supreme Court order of November 25th 2011. The Supreme Court Ordered, “…in case the writing of the constitution could not be completed within the given period, the tenure of CA will be ipso-facto terminated thereafter. Hence, this (directive) order is issued in the name of respondents, the chairperson of the Constituent Assembly and the Government of Nepal, Office of Prime Minister and the Council of Ministers, to conduct or have conducted necessary activities and make required arrangement either for conducting referendum under Article 157 or for holding election of the fresh Constituent Assembly or any other arrangements as provided in the constitution” (http://www.supremecourt.gov.np). That means, the Court verdict was either “to go for fresh elections, a referendum or some other way out” if a New Constitution could not be produced on stipulated time.

India first wanted to continue her support to Dr. Bhattarai-led government. Similarly, India had been preparing Regmi as a chair of Interim Elections Government as an alternative of Bhattarai since a long. Regmi Government is no less than a puppet of previous Bhattarai-led Government. On the course to stop the influence of western countries and being continued India’s interest in Nepal alone, former PM Dr. Bhattarai stated that western countries are plotting against CA polls in Nepal to fulfill their vested interests (BC: June 4th 2013: 1 and Himalayan Times: June 1st 2013).

Thirteenth, on October 10th 2013, the Election Commission dropped its plan to print and distribute voter ID cards while Indian authorities including Embassy of India in Kathmandu pressured a lot to award the Sama Printers (established by Indian businessman), that ranked fifth among the six bidders. Jagadamba Press quoted the lowest bid at NRs. 4.91 per card, but Sama proposed at the rate of NRs. 8.40 per card. The EC cancelled the bid considering the serious security consequences (because of interest of India) on bio-metric details of 12.38 million Nepali voters (Sharma: October 10th 2013 and Phuyal: October 10th 2013:1).

India has been put her upper hand in Nepal’s politics, economic development, and socio-cultural linkage. She may have adopted three pillars policy whether succeeding or failure to CA II elections in Nepal. First, if the elections held successfully, India tries to draft a new constitution what she wishes through political and cultural leaders. Second, India informally encourages dissident forces to disrupt the forthcoming elections just as an alternative key to speed their bargaining power putting Nepal in serious transition or making Nepal a failed state. Lastly, if India found low number votes cast in the elections or disturbed by the anti-CA II elections forces, India may open another option to welcome the concept of cultural monarchy reinstating grandson of ex-monarch Gyanendra under the patronage of Himani Shah, India born ex-princes. Himani has political culture in compared to Gyanendra’s family.

The establishment of cultural monarchy shall only be possible if Nepal either reinstated the Old Constitution 1990 or amended in the IC. The amendment of IC shall not be easy even after elections held successfully. The reinstatement 1990 Constitution shall only be possible if Nepal declared a failed state because of vicious political and economic cycles. It is to be remarkable that Nepal is heading toward a failed state while there is no people’s representatives in all tiers, no power separation between executive and judiciary (Regmi holds head of both), mobilization of Army without serious cause, massive political corruption, impenetrable bureaucracy, non-compliance of human rights and international instruments, and widening foreign trade deficit.

On the other, India has been tired to speedily fulfill the demands of all political and cultural leaders in Nepal. India may reach to a conclusion that she cannot effort any more costs. The conclusion may drive of that it is better to make happy to monarch and a few courtiers and leaders rather to appease ambitious and selfish large numbers of power and property hungry leaders.

India, the world’s largest democratic country and emerging superpower in the world is becoming alienated country due to her adoption of age-old intervening as guardian role to surrounding sovereign and independent neighbors in South Asia. China has friendly relations with all least developed and developing neighbors. For mainstreaming on social democratic to all neighbors, India should transform from century-old RAW developed foreign policy to experts cooperated people’s needs-based foreign policy. It shall be better if India could listen to dissident voices and formulate the foreign policy by minutely observing the best practices, gaps, and overlaps occurred within and between/among surrounding nations in the past.

I fully agree with eminent scholar Anand Kumar of Jawaharlal University what he suggests Indian Government to wipe-out the guardian roles in the South Asia including Nepal (Kantipur: October 6th 2013:7). Sovereign countries in this region look forward freedom from fear, freedom from want, freedom to live in dignity,  and freedom to take action on one’s own behalf  (Pathak: October 2013: 168).

  1. 5.     Concluding Remarks

In overall assessment, there is a less possibility to hold the CA II elections on November 19th. If the elections hold in time, the voters’ turnout shall go-down with compared to 60 percent in 2008 elections. The elections to CA II shall be postponed owing to security reasons by the dissident 33-party polls-opposing alliance, headed by the CPN-Maoist. If the elections successfully held, there shall be a question of existence of 33-party alliance in Nepalese political arena. Thus, the election has been a life-and-death to the leaders and activist of the CPN-Maoist. The CPN-Maoist has already asked people to actively boycott the polls. The 10-day nationwide general strike (November 11-20, 2013) called by the CPN-Maoist has been a serious security challenge. The irate anti-polls Maoist cadres attached a dozen election campaigners and injured many of them vandalizing vehicles of the candidates. Moreover, the CPN-Maoist initiates the action against the UCPN-Maoist leaders and candidates to foil the elections. It is assumed that about 60 percent former Maoist Army and Young Communist League associate with the CPN-Maoist.

Fearing with possible life-threat, the UCPN-Maoist informally wishes postpone or stop this election. It has also lost the attractive slogans for elections campaign as it could not fulfill the last elections promises to voters, split party to CPN-Maoist, and direct confrontation with the splinters. If the elections held successfully, there shall have questions of its legitimacy while only four parties involved to amend the Interim Constitution (by force) out of 130  parties registered in the Election Commission and participation of dissident forces in constitution making process. Increasing threats of small arms, poll disruption by fringe parties, ethnic and communal tensions, armed outfits’ activities, inter-party clashes, conflict between the temporary and permanent polices, and open Nepo-India border are the major spoiler of elections (Giri: October 24, 2013:1).

Prachanda initiates dialogue with cultural parties for common candidates in the Tarai-Madhes constituencies. Nepali Congress is encouraged in holding the elections in time calculating that the number of seats shall increase due to split of one and half dozen Tarai-Madhes parties. These are cultural parties, but Nepali Congress is a national party which has established sister organizations across the country. The UML is middle path in between the Nepali Congress and the UCPN-Maoist, neither left nor right. However, the RPP-Nepal is in a right mood to receive more seats in comparison of last CA I. If alliance with the UCPN-Maoist could not be held, many Tarai-Madhes parties shall be limited in the history defeating by the people in this CA II.

Nepal is a witness of that the past 601 members in the CA I of 25 parties did nothing on the differing issues found in number, type, structure, and autonomy of federal system and elections to President and Prime Minister (Pathak: September 3rd 2007). Only eight leaders such as Prachanda, Dr. Baburam Bhattarai and Narayan Kaji Shrestha of UCPN-Maoist, Sushil Koirala, Ramchandra Poudel and Sher Bahadur Deuba of Nepali Congress, and Jhapa Nath Khanal and Madhav Nepal of CPN-UML tried to make puppets and pendulum to all CA members and parties while none of the constitution making issue discussed and tried to approve in the Legislative-Parliament. These leaders’ roles were no less than autocratic rulers. Questions are raised, why does Nepal need 601 CA members again in the CA II? Can anyone say they wouldn’t be rubber stamp of their respective leaders? Who can guarantee that the voice of the voiceless people hear in constitution making process? Can Nepal learn the lessons on constitution making from India and South Africa?

The UN, European Union, and other international communities would like to see CPN-Maoist on the board of elections (Upadhyay: October 1, 2013:1). They wish that elections should be  inclusive, credible, free, and fair and Nepal should ready for the postponement if Mohan Baidya’s participation in future polls is sure. The CA II is not general or ordinary elections of Legislative-Parliament. It is the elections to draft the New Constitution through the Constituent Assembly. However, Regmi, the chair of the Interim Elections Government in an interaction program with Nepali communities residing in New York said, “The postponement is not possible if 80 percent people are in favor of elections”. The mainstream political parties and their puppet Council of Ministers shall never go back unless India permits them to do so. While mainstream parties were near to sign on the agreement with dissident CPN-Maoist, India warned for not supports them once they signed on the deal.

With a severe frustration owing the lilliputian hallucination of Nepal’s leaders, anti-Indian sentiments speed up among voters. The past General Elections and Constituent Assembly Elections after 1990 shows that the parties received attractive votes who raise anti-Indian slogans and Indian hegemony in Nepal. The first elected communist minority Government led by Manmohan Adhikari of CPN-UML could not work more than 9-month (December 1994 to August 1995) as he had national stand and asked Indian authorities to revise unequal Peace and Friendship Nepo-India treaties and agreements. Prachanda became the first Prime Minister in Republic Nepal but also ousted in nine-month (August 16, 2008 to May 4, 2009) while he strongly demanded to revise the treaties based on the needs and desire of people in modern Nepal.

The CA II is also the outcome of India and conscious voiceless people have fears whether the parties put forwarded the name of candidates in the clandestine interest of India. India wants to stop the popular influence of Maoist on voters and they have worked a lot for long. On the course to defame and weaken, the UCPN-Maoist split to CPN-Maoist while India kept ambitious, shaky-centrist, and selfish leaders on her fold, rejecting the voices of honest and nationalist leaders including cadres. India invested huge efforts to make GoN under the leadership of Dr. Baburam Bhattarai. Otherwise, how did leaders of the Tarai-Madhes parties come under the umbrella of UCPN-Maoist? Most of the cultural Tarai-Madhes parties are aide-de-camp of Indian power politics. However, great majority Tarai-Madhes commoners are against on such surrendering of nationality and independence, stated by veteran communist leader Krishna Raj Verma (personal conversation: October 4th 2013).

Voiceless people are now confused at the verge of elections as Chair Puspa Kamal Dahal alias Prachanda of the UCPN-Maoist has multiple identities: Tarai-Madhes thinks he represents from Pahade (hill-mountain dweller); Bahun says he is the advocate of Janajatis; and the Janajatis believes he has given a birth in elite class Bahun. Now the question rises; what is his actual identity? The question of identity initiates in the CA I election and flourished during the constitution making process. The identity has now been soul of all castes/ethnicities and other cultural groups while the political parties sharply divided into single identity vs. common (collective) identities. Thus, the ongoing debate, discussion, and discourse on the identities in the elections would push a country towards the new conflict, i.e., communal violence, which shall leave a long term impact among the greater populace in Nepal. Not only Nepal, but her neighbors too.

The world now has largely been divided on the issue of identities in terms of caste/ethnicity, color, region, socio-culture, development, and religion after the communist ideology broken and bourgeois democracy stands alone in the world. The identity issue shall incorporate the debate and discussion among the world’s population for a long run 150-200 years (Pathak: October 2013:19). Nepal cannot be escaped from such global trend. Voiceless people are in troubles because of severe intervention of India and observatory plus silence diplomatic role of China to Nepal. Thus, injustice is a challenge to justice everywhere in today’s global village.

The major problems of Nepal is that the leaders of the parties do not stand or walk by their own feet, but they need Baishaki (standard crutches) of neighbors, particularly Indian power and politics. The elections to CA I was the demand of people; CA II is the product of foreign forces. The CA II elections could not develop immutable constitutional principles similar to South Africa as the same attitude, behavioral, and context holder-leaders, same politico-ideological parties, and same top-down approach holder members for constitution drafting are again contesting and shall be elected even in this election too.

The number of CA members of mainstream parties including Tarai-Madhes cultural parties shall definitely be decreased in compared to previous CA while large numbers of castes, ethnicities, and regional parties are contesting the elections establishing their own party. Such caste, ethnic, and regional parties are formed by splitting from the same mainstream mother parties. Moreover, the CA will not carry voiceless people’s agenda and voiceless people will not trust in CA II shall draft and promulgate the New Constitution . Because there are tough and dissident voices over the federalism issue and ABC triangle. The elections boycotting forces shall definitely influence the elections, candidates, polling booths, voters, ballot-papers and boxes, and nation.

Nepalese history has been a witness of that election is not for people’s service, but only for the benefit of leaders as a profession. Once the election is over, leaders will forget the people. The voice of the voiceless shall never be heard. The voice of the voiceless was discarded. The voice of the voiceless is neglected. Thus, the voiceless people shall again be hopeless to have a New Constitution through elections to CA II.

While working as a resource person assisted by Bal Kumari Gurung, Madhu K Thapa, Mohan Chandra Bhandari, Sagar Gaudel, Bimala Shrestha, and Bhupendra Lawati (CDF) of United Mission to Nepal on Process Documentation for Interfaith Peacebuilding Initiatives at grassroots in Eastern Nepal, the author observed that all concerned actors such as candidates and their activists, media, election officials, and security forces for the polls are active. But voters are inactive. Voices of the voiceless people are nowhere heard.  They are discouraged.

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__________________________

Bishnu Pathak, a Ph.D. holder in conflict management and human rights, is president and director of the Conflict Study Center. He is a Board Member of TRANSCEND International for Nepal and also a BM of the TRANSCEND Peace University. Besides writing the book Politics of People’s War and Human Rights in Nepal, he has published a number of research articles on issues related to Human Rights, UN, Security, Peace, Civil-Military Relations, Community Policing, and Federalism.

 

 

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13 Responses to “Elections to Constituent Assembly II – Voice of the Voiceless People of Nepal”

  1. Adarsha Tuladhar says:

    First of all, I like to commend Dr Pathak for his patience in writing a “book” (not an easy to read and understand article) with a confusing title. Confusing because who is he referring to as the “voiceless”? no where in the article it comes out clearly. Next is he is going through the history but I fail to understand whether he is for: a) postponement of elections, b) inclusion of Baidya-led 33 party coalition, c) resignation of Mr. Regmi before elections and what actually/
    May be it has not been his intention to spell out his position but his article is more “pessimistic” and of someone who does not have an alternative to propose for few facts which have led to this situation.
    a) Demise of CA I – which party is to be blamed? everybody has a differing opinion and no one can really pinpoint who indeed.
    b) Election Govt. led by CJ Regmi – was there an alternative when every party was busy negating the other and no one leader willing to ‘sacrifice’ the PM’s chair. I really laugh at the ‘bankruptcy’ of the thinking of our intellectuals who claim that the govt. led by CJ was against democratic norms. Yes, it would have been against if the CJ had continued to perform his duties as the CJ, but he has gone on ‘leave’ or on ‘deputation’ and not interfered in court matters. If he were to resign from his CJ post what moral or administrative authority would he have had to lead the govt.? He would have become a ‘common mortal’ like any one of us and from where do we derive the authority to become the PM or the head of the election government.
    c) Baidya’s boycott – Baidya is a ‘spoiler’ and is a Lendhup Dorje in the guise of a nationalist. If indeed he is so sure of the elections being held under Indian behest he and his colleagues should have indeed stood in the elections, won and then prove that they managed to defeat the ‘Indian’ design. I can bet with anybody that none of their big leaders would have won from any constituency.
    Baidya has never been bold enough to give in writing that he would indeed participate in the elections if these conditions are indeed met. At least I have not seen any written statement from him and his 33 party coalition leaders confirming to participate in the elections upon the fulfillment of conditions minimum.
    Yes…my only worry is that the people will not go to vote due to intimidation. I have advocated in the press that the security forces should open fire (with rubber bullets below belt) on all those who try to enforce ‘bandh’ or try to interrupt voting on the voting day.

    • Prof. Dr. Bishnu Pathak says:

      Thank you Adarshajee for your comments. In regards of definition of the voiceless, just below the abstract, there is setting and the Setting starts with this definition, “The term “voiceless” represent from among the people who live both at countryside and urban center, but their voice do not necessarily influence the policy formation or decision making at the center. They are the neutral people in all professions often used as elevators by the parties and leaders for their specific purpose, simply vote-banks.” I hope this is enough.

  2. Lamichhane Sridhar says:

    Thank you so much Bishnu jee for important and relevant document to understand the situation of the country.

  3. Dr. Ek Raj Ojha says:

    Many thanks for thinking of me to send your relevant and recent paper, which I have saved and will soon read in full and with interest. As a development professional, my emphases especially of late have been in good governance. Soon I will take the pleasure of sending you a couple of my small articles and believe that you would appreciate their contents and intents.

  4. Raj Kumar Dhungana says:

    This is very relevant and i want to believe that the arguement of Nepal being Sikkimization, Fizization and so forth and coming under the Indian zone is false and our leaders and not ‘their’ leaders. I want to be optimistic about Nepal’s better and independent future.

    • Prof. Dr. Bishnu Pathak says:

      Many thanks Raj Kumar jee. We wish not to have such satellite rule in Nepal.

  5. Prof. Dr. Bidhya Nath Koirala says:

    Thanks sir for warning. Hope UCPN will reflect upon the crime they did with the people over the years and turn out to be Valmiki from Ratnakar. Regards

  6. Shiv Shankar says:

    Regarding My self I am a very simple Indina Hindu People. So not consider this e-mail as a politician word. I have to say some thing regarding your 2nd Point

    Is really the UCPN (Maoist) handled by Indian Politician? Where as I understand UCPN is under direct/indirect influence of China and has full support of Pakistan to destroy the Hindu state (including Indian). and you are blaming it to Indian people. Why so?

    There are lakhs of Nepali people working in different part of India still you are saying that “Nepalese people (voters) have anti-Indian sentiment”. Can you say why there is such situation?

    In your 3rd point you have mentioned yourself that “The Bolshevik trend (by Lenin) may (likely) repeat in Nepal”
    Lenin is not a Indian people. Then why you are making Indian as scapegoat?

    As you you have mentioned yourself as many important place holder in Nepal and international level, so your reply should be in responsible manner. I am waiting for your reply.

    • Prof. Dr. Bishnu Pathak says:

      Thank you so much. Please read my article and your concerns are all mentioned there.

      Thanks

  7. Shiv Shankar says:

    As you are person from International body, Can you lat me know what is your opinion about the custom of Nepal to worship KanyKumary which install sense of being respectful to female of Human (Specially In Hindu) society. But in reverse, The West people cry it as child/women right abuse and are trying to abolish the Nobel custom of Hindu people.

    I am waiting for your reply!!!!!!!!!

  8. kalyandev Bhattarai says:

    Football Match with only one Goal post

    Kalyan Dev Bhattarai

    Our political leaders are much better than many of the circus clowns.
    That’s why they provide us nice opportunity to watch very funny games,
    Nautangi and Tamasas in the name of politics and we do laugh heartily
    and at times I have really enjoyed their political Tamasa.

    Nepalese people are forced to take part in one of the funniest game of
    politics, which the so-clled political experts, leaders. President,
    election commissioner and all their associates are calling as 2nd
    constituent assembly election to be held on 4th Mangisher 2070.

    The only opponent to this Tamasa is the Mr. Baidhya lead Maoist
    along with its 33 allies who had publicly said that they will not
    only boycott the election and will also do their best to disrupt the
    election. In this context, they have announced the 10 days of
    Bandh which after the completion of its first day transferred to
    transportation strike only till 5th Mangisher 2070.

    I consider the present so-called election as Tamasa because it lacks
    the basic requirements to be called Constituent Assembly Election
    (CAE). As far as I understand CAE is not the formal body to put the
    already decided ” what ” (by the so-called political parties) in paper
    rather it is a platform for in-depth discussion to find out the best
    “what ” for the nation and the people which will be written in the
    constitution after getting concurrence from at least 2/3 members of
    the Constituent Assembly, as people’s representative. The whole “what”,
    “why” and “how “should be discussed seriously by the people’s
    representative to ensure the betterment of all the citizen of the
    country.

    So if we agree in this basic concept of the CAE then first and basic
    requirements will be naturally the election process which should
    ensure the election of the people’s representative, legitimately,
    democratically and without any biasness and tint of doubt that the declared
    elected candidates are really those who get more than 50 percent of
    the votes from the voters list of respective constituents.

    In this context, unfortunately present election modality is such that
    not a single would-be- member can be considered as people’s
    representative in the assembly, as they will be either declared
    elected based on the first past the post system or selected of the
    Party leaders in the name of proportional representative or will be
    nominated by the present government. And all these process are
    neither democratic nor do that ensures the selection of choice of the
    people to consider them as people’s representative .Our last practices
    and its outcome suggest that candidates getting 15—20-25 -30-40- 45%
    votes will be declared as elected, who are in reality rejected by more
    than 60% of the voters. In last election Mr. Babu Ram Bhattarai was
    the only candidate who was declared elected by securing more than 50
    percentage votes of the voter’s list . This time not a single
    candidate can be expected to get elected by securing more than 50%
    votes in the direct election and to accept such candidates who secures
    less than 50% votes and being rejected by more than 50 % voters
    during election as people’s representative is nothing but the
    intellectual bankruptcy and raping of the democracy.

    As far as the proportional representation is concerned only who are
    near and dear to the party leaders and are loyal to them will be
    selected as party representatives based on the proportional vote. And
    such slaves of the party leaders can never be consider as people’s
    representative because the general people have neither any role in
    their selection nor their support. At most, they can be accepted as
    party representative but in no case can be considered as people’s
    representative, so to declare such candidates as people’s representatives
    will be a mockery of the democracy. Based on the present
    modality of the election process, I have no hesitation to say that all
    this is a grand machination of the political parties to loot the
    nation and fool the citizen as they are in politics only for money and
    are groups of camouflaged dacoits, who are just fooling the people.

    The other funny part of the present election game is that neither the
    election commission office, not the president & government are able to
    declare the minimum percentage of the voters participation required
    to consider the present election as legitimate, democratic and
    acceptable .Specially in the present scenario when some of the
    political parties are officially boycotting the present election,
    claiming the election as waste of money, useless, and waste of
    taxpayer’s money and this group is being accepted by all concerned as
    opponents of the government and political parties who are
    participating in the election. To be fair and democratic the
    government and election commission office must declare the minimum
    percentage of the voters participating in the election for it to be declared
    as participatory, democratic and legitimate or else it will be a game of
    football where the opponent have no goal post to strike the goal and only
    the government and the syndicate will secure goal even if the
    participation of the voters is less than 40-30%.

    To provide a chance to win for the Baidhya group and other
    organization like MCAT, who have register their petition, with a
    signature of more than 20,000 peoples in the Supreme Court,
    demanding the provision of negative vote, also as a players in the
    election game the government and the election commission office must
    declare the minimum % of the voters participation required to call
    present election as legitimate, democratic and valid or else the
    present election will be only waste of money and a process only to
    legitimize the camouflaged dacoits to loot the taxpayer’s money in
    different pretext in the name of ruling the country.

    In absence of the required fairness in the simple game of politics,
    that can be excepted in democratic society, the violence activities
    comes out to be only alternative available to the opponents of the
    present government and syndicate to express their political opinion
    though it be neither desirable nor acceptable. Therefore, to express
    opinion against the present wrong , violent activities of the
    politically opponents , who are against the present election, the best
    solution will be to declare the minimum percentage required to call
    the present election as legitimate, democratic, If by any chance
    the voters participation is less than the declared percentage, the
    political winner would be the Baidhya group, which will also make it nice and
    interesting to watch the election, for those people who
    consider all the political parties as unfit for the constituent
    making and demand negative vote provision in the ballot paper. Otherwise the present election game will be is nothing but the football match with only one goal
    post . And democratically and legitimately such farcical election will also not be acceptable to the majority of the people.

    Kalyan dev Bhattarai
    14th November 2013

  9. Yuba Raj Adhikari says:

    Dear Bishnu sir,
    I really loved your analytic views as you have outlined the possible decrease of UCPNM fame in this election. Hope the Bolsevic period will not start in Nepal.

    All the best,

  10. John Cosgrave says:

    It is hardly surprising that UCPN (Maoist) are doing so badly in the elections, as they showed themselves to be no better than the other parties when they were in power. I think that the people were fed up with them and that is why the elections results this time look like what people in Kathmandu expected for the last CA elections – Congress
    and UML in the lead with the Maoists as the third party.