Everest of Problems
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.