Maoist Centre is trying to sail on two boats (Editorial)

The three political parties—the CPN-UML, CPN-Maoist Centre and Naya Shakti Party-Nepal — announced that they would be forging an electoral alliance for the upcoming federal and provincial elections and ultimately opt for party unification after the elections.
While forging an electoral alliance and/or coming together of ‘like-minded’ political forces may be a welcome development, the turn of events is absolutely perplexing. The CPN-Maoist Centre has decided to forge the electoral alliance with the main opposition UML while still being a coalition partner in the government with the Nepali Congress.
This is not at all a political culture as the Maoist Centre is trying to sail on two boats. Because the CPN-Maoist Centre has decided to change the bedfellows it should show the minimum political culture and quit the government.
The coalition government was supposed to hold the provincial and parliamentary elections scheduled for November 26 and December 7.
The sudden shift of Maoist Centre’s political allegiance with the main opposition has put Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba in a fix, for without the support of the CPN-MC the NC-led government would be in a minority, and it would not be right for Deuba to hold on to power.
CPN-Maoist Centre Chairman Puspha Kamal Dahal is, however, reported to have assured Deuba that he would continue supporting him till the elections that would determine the country’s future. What we are seeing now is polarization among the major political forces. The uniting of the three parties into a single party was being mooted since long.
The democratic forces are also attempting to forge an alliance. This political development is taking place with the contending parties to garner  majority in the twin elections. As no single party has won even a single majority in the past two Constituent Assemblies the major political parties had to make coalitions to run the governments that lasted only for a few months.  Even as the three leftist parties have reached an agreement for electoral alliance and unification later on, they have also sought support of other communists and leftist parties so that they can form a majority government.
Strange as it may seem the two antagonistic forces are heading towards the direction to be unified as a single party.
The Nepali Congress for its part is also seeking to forge a broader democratic alliance consisting of Rastriya Janata Party Nepal, Federal Socialist Forum led by Upendra Yadav, Rastriya Prajatantra Party-Nepal and  Rastriya Prajatantra Party-Democratic.
The unification efforts of political parties should also be taken positively.
Now the main question is about the legitimacy of the Deuba-led government. To repeat, the Maoist Centre has made an electoral alliance with the main opposition and, together with UML and Naya Shakti, has unveiled a rough sketch leading to the unification after the provincial and parliamentary elections.
Even if the Maoist Centre has not yet ‘officially informed’ the prime minster of its decision, politically, the Deuba government  lacks the majority in parliament to stay on in power. The Prime Minister is expected to accept the fact that his government is already in the minority.
A government that is in the minority is either required to prove the majority or is plainly expected to step down in keeping up with the parliamentary norms and political culture.

Published Date : 9 October, 2017  Monday .

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