December 8, 2022, Thursday
Nepal 1:37:26 pm

Dissent-candidacy

Editorial

The Nepal Weekly
November 15, 2022

What is generally referred to as rebel-candidacy in the context of Nepal Election 2022 is actually a form of dissent-candidacy. Those who are fighting against their mother-party’s official candidates – alliance-based or otherwise – are expressing serious concerns about the decision-modality of top leadership of political parties concerned. Their expression indicates clear lack of internal democracy in the parties. It is opposition voice first clarified internally in the party. When heads of political parties either ignored or chose to sideline the dissent voice, their political self compelled them to go against the formal decision of the party. The consequences of the same are now visible in the long list of dissent-candidates for parliamentary and provincial assembly seats; the candidacy is feared to play out as a sort of suicidal-instrument which could lead to nasty defeat of official candidates in various constituencies including those in which certain parties have historically proved background of majority supporters. The issue is something that political leaders should consider seriously if they want to improve their chances of improving image and seats in future. Neglecting it would be politically dangerous for future poll-politics. Cases of dissent-candidacy are not only the concerns of big parties or truncated parties but the problems of all parties which are facing the polls at the moment at federal and provincial levels. While dissent-candidacy could be critically argued as an act of not observing party-discipline or disobeying party-leadership, it should in reality be analyzed against the backdrop of how a political party is organized and mobilized and how dissent voice is managed and accommodated in a political organization. As for those who chose, as a last resort, the path of offering dissent candidacy, they should, irrespective of being defeated or victor in polls, consider moving through politically correct track in future. The same process could later on enable them to rejoin the party-line and contribute to institutionalizing space for dissent voice in the party in future. Creating a situation for democratizing party organization is a good work and all those who are dedicated to politics should understand it and should never deviate from it. After all the democratic way of running a party is what Nepal needs today; the country does not require more political parties – there are already too many. Although the room for opening political parties as per the laws and as per people’s wish for political association should always be kept open, people with political passion should seriously consider developing a culture of internal democracy in parties. The same would enrich sustainability of political parties in days to come.