June 24, 2024, Monday
Nepal 1:37:26 pm

Second cycle of federalism


The Nepal Weekly
February 8, 2022

With Prime Minister Deuba giving go-ahead to the Election Commission for local level polls, Nepal has technically entered the preparation for the second cycle of federalism. It is encouraging to see the country going forward strengthening the federal practice in governance and other state affairs including public service delivery. Political parties, their leaders and the people in general should further contribute to the process for ensuring stability and peace, essential for developing the economy, augmenting employment and raising standard of living of the people. They should therefore now focus on making the local polls as successful as the one held in 2017. Although the country expected complete political stability over the past five years following the completion of three tier elections the same got missing due to some leaders’ failure to adhere to the directions envisioned by the constitution. As a result the political instability at the federal level got extended to seven provinces – Sudoor Paschim, Karnali, Gandaki, Bagmati, Lumbini, Madhesh and Province number one. The instability also affected the stability in 753 local governments in different ways including operation of development projects. Learning lessons from this, all stakeholders of democracy in Nepal should approach the local polls and other elections which will follow them later in the year with care and wisdom. They should all be sincere in making the polls democratic, fair and representative of the political will of the people. The standard electoral process should not be interfered with in any way and under any excuse. The EC should also make sure that people could pick up the representatives they opt freely and with no fear and any untoward influence from anywhere. Since the Commission has earned years of experience for presiding over polls in Nepal and has an institutionalized background along with competent human resources for the same it will do its job in a fair and democratic manner. One point it should bear in mind, though, is to make sure that the election code of conduct is followed sincerely at every level from the time polls are officially announced. It would be great if the EC could discourage political parties to make the poll-campaigning a very expensive proposition. In democracies polls should not be made exercises or shows of display of money and influence. Polls should be made an opportunity for people to offer candidature for any post and they should offer complete freedom for voters to pick up the person of their choice. People’s will should be freely expressed through polls and those who contribute to administering polls should consider the same as their mission.