October 6, 2022, Thursday
Nepal 1:37:26 pm

Democratic and mature decision

Editorial

The Nepal Weekly
February 1, 2022

The way the ruling coalition parties have decided to hold local level polls should be appreciated. They, after discussion, negotiation and understanding, demonstrated political maturity and wisdom in not delaying the polls under any excuse. Although some political parties in the coalition were not in favour of holding the polls prior to parliamentary polls, they understood the viewpoint of those who emphasized timely local polls. The democratic process they followed in discussing the timing of polls makes one believe in their commitment to coalition in one hand and democratic periodic polls on the other. The differences – political, ideological or otherwise – existing in them could have divided them over the matter and made the local polls uncertain. Actually that was what some opponents had expected. But Prime Minister Deuba’s political maturity, Prachanda’s willingness to compromise and Madhav Nepal’s wisdom not to differ with majority decision contributed to one decision of the coalition on local polls. As the political parties discussed the pros and cons of having local polls on time, some other civic bodies, lawyers, academicians and other politicos also got opportunity to discuss the issue of having local elections on time or not. All had detailed discussion. The main constitutional body for managing polls in Nepal – the Election Commission – has put forward its views, schedule and requirements besides discussing the matter openly with all parties concerned well in time. Lawyers are still discussing various implications of not holding the local polls as soon as those elected five years ago complete their tenure. They are also picking up for legal discussion minute details of what election laws say and constitutional laws mean. A few underline the need to amend the laws to end confusion between them. Commoners have been informed about all these things through media coverage. One point all election stakeholders point out and feel comfortable about is: the understanding of urgency to allow the local polls go ahead as per the calendar. The pains and confusion created by non-elected persons running local bodies for over a decade and a half in Nepal on the past should teach all that it is highly beneficial to have elected representatives in local government for the benefits of all in municipalities – rural or urban. The provision of elected officials in local government is by itself democratically assuring and practically useful for delivering public service at ward levels of municipalities.