NEPAL

Ever­est of Prob­lems

Southasia - - Front page - By Dr. Jan Sharma

Much like the pre­vi­ous three com­mu­nist gov­ern­ments, the in­stal­la­tion of the fourth com­mu­nist govern­ment has gen­er­ated a new hope and op­ti­mism for the peace process and given the former Hindu king­dom a new con­sti­tu­tion to in­sti­tu­tion­al­ize it­self as a fed­eral demo­cratic repub­lic.

The hope is partly be­cause the Nepalese peo­ple are sick and tired of their cor­rupt and in­ept lead­ers and Prime Min­is­ter Babu­ram Bhat­tarai brings in fresh air, and partly be­cause of the in­ter­na­tional sup­port, es­pe­cially from In­dia and the United States.

But Bhat­tarai’s suc­cess – or fail­ure – will to a large ex­tent be de­ter­mined by how he moves within his Uni­fied Com­mu­nist Party of Nepal-Maoist (UCPN-M), with his undependable coali­tion part­ners and with the main op­po­si­tion on his twin agenda of a per­ma­nent peace and a demo­cratic con­sti­tu­tion.

Bhat­tarai’s move on the peace process is al­ready cre­at­ing prob­lems, not just within his own UCPN-M, of which he is one of the three vice chair­men, but also from the main op­po­si­tion – the Nepali Congress and the Com­mu­nist Party of Nepal-Uni­fied Marx­ist Lenin­ist (CPN-UML), the sec­ond and third largest po­lit­i­cal for­ma­tions in par­lia­ment. It is go­ing to be tough test for Bhat­tarai’s po­lit­i­cal acu­men and lead­er­ship in most dif­fi­cult cir­cum­stances. He may have good in­ten­tions. Af­ter as­sum­ing of­fice, he shunned lux­ury SUVs his pre­de­ces­sors loved in fa­vor of a non­de­script “Mus­tang” jeep as­sem­bled in Nepal from mo­tor parts brought in from In­dia.

Risks from Within

Good in­ten­tions apart, Bhat­tarai

Party time is over. It is time to start work­ing.

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