February 2, 2023, Thursday
Nepal 1:37:26 pm

Opposition’s trust in PM

The Nepal Weekly
January 17, 2023

That former PM Deuba got Nepali Congress, the largest single party in the current House of Representatives, support PM Pushpa Kamal Dahal in vote of confidence motion should be taken as an open tactical step in the real play-ground of current Nepali politics. It could be interpreted just as a competitor’s response of its kind to what former PM Oli did rather secretly and overnight in motivating break-up of the left-democratic alliance and formation of fresh alliance to grab key role for his party CPN UML besides offering opportunity for Dahal to become third time PM. Deuba’s decision could serve as a precautionary remedy against instability and autocratic way of governing that might follow like the one, experienced in the first 3 years of federalism practice in the country. The approach is just like the one that democratic parties, while in opposition, adopt in Britain, USA and other countries as and when they have to support ruling parties under consensus and bipartisan scheme for some common cause or bills meant for the broad interest of people and the country. Similar policies had also been pursued by parties in different times in the Nepal Parliament in the past. Supporting or opposing government on the basis of merits of issues and motions concerned is also a norm parliamentary democracies respect and go in for.  Opposition parties do not lose their critical check and balance role in parliament simply by supporting the government for a motion or more. NC is therefore free to scrutinize the ruling alliance’s performance as a full-fledged opposition. Politics-practitioners understand the point. The same, however, has not been accepted in the public discourse that is going on in Nepal at the moment. Intellectuals, media discussants, arm chair politicians and others joining the conversation argue: because NC supported PM Dahal in trust motion, it lost moral authority of acting as opposition party. Their observation seeks higher political ideal from opposition NC but they do not look for the same high standard from other parties which support or are in government despite having diametrically opposite views. How the scenario will play out in future will determine the success or failure of this parliament. Any sort of consequences cannot be predicted at the moment. If things are taken positively there is room for having optimism in using the current parliament for stability with progress in all sectors–political, economic, social and cultural. If this is not done the parliament will end up like in the past as a venue for choosing or dismissing one government after the other. All parties represented this time in parliament have a duty not to let that happen. The parliament should emerge as a floor where solutions could be found for problems through open negotiation and fair check and balance.