July 21, 2024, Sunday
Nepal 1:37:26 pm

Poll-coalition ahead!


The Nepal Weekly
March 15, 2022

The ruling coalition appears determined to continue their joint move to the local polls and beyond. Prime Minister Deuba indicated the same the other day during his public speech ending doubt over continuity of the combined political journey in future. The others in coalition had been talking about cooperation in polls for quite some time. Although quite different among themselves in history, ideology and political approach and aspirations, the coalition partners have been experimenting transactional politics ever since they launched the campaign to oppose immediate former PM Oli’s autocratic rule. Since they feel such experiment is a comfort to them they are interested in extending it to future including polls-local and parliamentary. Political analysts believe the top leaders, most of whom are former Prime Ministers and senior leaders, have learnt lessons from Oli’s rejection of space for them through his high handedness in politics and governance: their joint approach rewarded them with dignified place in politics and governance; they would like to ensure its continuity in future; they would therefore work out a coalition- approach to win maximum seats in local polls at present and in parliamentary later in the year. Although managing the ego and leadership ambitions of senior leaders in the ruling coalition is a great risk and demands highly patient and careful approach, PM Deuba appears dedicated to the spirit of the coalition. That is why he is at the moment sensitizing Nepali Congress leaders and cadres about the positivity of coalition in polls. He is also asking his party men and women not to make extreme criticism of those who are in opposition or bring in problem before coalition-policy in any way. Implementing coalition in polls is in itself challenging and may be taken as undemocratic. Applying it to 753 municipalities – rural and urban – and their wards is an uphill task. Local leaders may feel their decision making area has been interfered by the central leadership. Same issues could crop up during provincial and parliamentary elections at the end of the year. Convincing them and managing their political aspirations will be a tough nut to crack for all coalition-parties particularly their leaderships. Yet the coalition-partners have decided to go ahead. Whether their move will be accepted by people in general or not could only be known by the time local polls’ results are announced. In the meanwhile the coalition approach to politics is in people’s hands and their yards. It awaits their verdict.