The Slide

People's Review - - LEADER -

When King Biren­dra gave his first pub­lic in­ter­view af­ter the restora­tion of the mul­ti­party sys­tem here, the up­roar of protests from the po­lit­i­cal es­tab­lish­ment had to be quelled by the stature of Ganesh­man Singh and Kr­ishna Prasad Bhat­tarai who as­serted that right for the con­sti­tu­tional monarch. There were none how­ever to pon­tif­i­cate demo­crat­i­cally about the per­ver­sion of the par­lia­men­tary process when, in re­ac­tion to prime min­is­ter G.P. Koirala’s dis­so­lu­tion of par­lia­ment of which he not only held the ma­jor­ity but was also the Nepali Congress par­lia­men­tary party leader. A sec­tion of his own party in par­lia­ment com­bined with the op­po­si­tion com­bined un­der the lead­er­ship of the speaker of the house ap­proached the con­sti­tu­tion monarch not to ac­qui­esce to the prime min­is­ter’s ad­vice to dis­solve par­lia­ment since, as they claimed, the prime min­is­ter had lost his ma­jor­ity. That in­ter­nal party dif­fer­ences should so be al­lowed to re­flect upon the democ­racy has been a re­peated bane of a democ­racy which has opted to dic­tate un­known prac­tices in ut­ter dis­re­gard of the util­ity and strength of demo­cratic pro­cesses and prac­tices evolved over the years for that very pur­pose. As a re­sult, this seem­ing ig­no­rance of demo­cratic prac­tices and their util­ity con­sid­ered rou­tine in democ­ra­cies have led to such hic­cups as a mi­nor­ity gov­ern­ment, upon loss of par­lia­men­tary sup­port, re­peat­edly telling the con­sti­tu­tional monarch to dis­solve par­lia­ment when the par­lia­ment still demon­stra­bly re­tained its demon­stra­ble ma­jor­ity sup­port. The wis­dom of the con­sti­tu­tional monar­chy was am­ply pub­licly dis­played when the King chose to con­sult the courts and the de­ci­sion that em­anated was upon ad­vice of court. A party cham­pi­oning mul­ti­party democ­racy had had such prece­dents that none dis­cuss the sud­den turn­around of their pub­lic stance that the party chair­man should not also hold on to the prime min­is­ter’s of­fice when party chair­man B.P. Koirala flipped him­self to the elected of­fice upon his party’s elec­tion win and the con­sti­tu­tional monar­chy ac­tu­ally pre­empted its im­pact within the rul­ing party, the con­sti­tu­tion and the monar­chy by what is termed was his con­sti­tu­tional coup. King Gya­nen­dra was de­nied this pre­emp­tive op­tion by the 1990 con­sti­tu­tion when the Nepali Congress dis­played its lead­er­ship tus­sles bear­ing upon the demo­cratic process in the Koirala-Deuba tus­sle which, willy nilly, dragged in the con­sti­tu­tional monar­chy. The com­bined strength of po­lit­i­cal or­ga­ni­za­tions overtly and covertly sup­ported by ex­ter­nal pow­ers blind to the mis­use of demo­cratic norms suc­cess­fully gorged on the sys­tem by fail­ing the ef­forts of the cal­cu­lat­edly dis­graced con­sti­tu­tional monarch to, as con­sti­tu­tion­ally pre­scribed, sal­vage the demo­cratic process through elec­tions which were op­posed by the par­lia­men­tary stake­hold­ers at the prompt­ing of the ex­ter­nal pow­ers and by the sec­tions branded as ter­ror­ists by these very so called cham­pi­ons of anti ter­ror­ism and democ­racy. These aber­ra­tions, not sur­pris­ingly, con­tinue and its re­sults on the democ­racy merely con­tinue sus­tain and nur­ture the im­pu­dence. And so we have a prime min­is­ter who had lost his ma­jor­ity in par­lia­ment un­able to re­sign on that ac­count with­out a pres­i­den­tial de­cree; we have a part­ner in gov­ern­ment de­sert­ing gov­ern­ment in the midst of a par­lia­men­tary bud­get ses­sion which it helped ta­ble and now we have an elec­tion gov­ern­ment that is un­able to oust a part­ner which has pub­licly voiced a new elec­tion part­ner­ship with the op­po­si­tion and we have a par­lia­ment that can nei­ther dis­solve it­self nor be dis­solved un­til its full ten­ure is com­plete. To boot, we have no cham­pi­ons of democ­racy pon­tif­i­cat­ing on these bla­tant aber­ra­tions. The morn­ing, once again, can­not but show the day. Democ­racy has and is be­ing un­der­mined, as has al­ways been the case, by our politi­cians.

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