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Smooth democratization is hunting Nepal

The democratization process in Nepal has been volatile since its initiation. Although the gruesome ten years of civil war ended in Nepal, the anarchic democratic machinery prevails till date. Absence of a new constitution for Nepal, constant hostility between the multiple political parties, especially escalated by the Communist Party and the failure to uphold the Comprehensive Peace Treaty are reasons to indicate absolute failure of the democratic processes in Nepal. Although the high rate of participation in the recently held elections seems optimistic, whether political stability would be instituted and prevailed is a precarious question.


Well after several years, Nepal has till date failed to draft a constitution for the state as it seriously lacks a national consensus. As a result, Nepal today has not been able to elect a Prime Minister.

The elections for a Constituent Assembly were held in Nepal in 2008 after Monarchy was officially abolished in 2007.

Then the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) emerged as the strongest party and the chairman of the CPN (M), Prachanda, got elected as the Prime Minister. But the government failed to draft a new constitution and friction between different political parties rose at an alarming rate.

Such an unsteady political environment proved to be a bane for the already dooming economy of the country marked by unemployment, poverty, fuel shortages and corruption. The Constituent Assembly was elected in 2008 with two-year mandate, but this was extended four times since the major parties were unable to agree on the country’s future federal structure.

These extensions faced increasing popular unrest. Therefore, the Assembly was finally dissolved in 2013 by Prime Minister Baburam Bhatturai with a view to holding new elections.

The elections were held on November 19th, 2013. According to Nepal’s Election Commission, the participation for the electoral process was 70 per cent.

This kind of a massive participation indicates the ardent desire of the masses to see the Federal Democratic Nation of Nepal head towards politically stability, smooth democratization and economic growth.

In the elections, the Nepali Congress Party emerged as the strongest with the CPN-UML (Communist Party of Nepal-Unified Marxist Leninist) being a close second. The new assembly is likely to convene in mid-February.

But an election and high participation does not ensure the establishment of firm democratic machinery.

There are several factors that could be impediments for the already turbulent political environment of Nepal.

The Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) who are now called the Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) emerged as the third strongest party in the elections which does not make them major players in the decision making process.

This has irked the members of the Maoist party and they have already alleged the elections to be rigged. Some Maoists have also called for a return into insurgency. This could be a major threat for political solidity.

Another factor is that although Nepali Congress Party won a number of seats, they have not got absolute majority. Hence, the most feasible option is to form a coalition government.

The Nepali Congress Party and the CPN-UML (Communist Party of Nepal-Unified Marxist Leninist), who would dominate the new Constituent assembly are expected to confer and discuss the formation of the next government and come to an agreement on the country’s federal structure.

Only if they are successful in doing so then can a certain amount of stability be imagined in the political state of affairs in Nepal.

Again a number of decisions regarding the election of the Prime Minister and the settlement of his power parameters, allocation of the different ministers and most importantly completion of the constitutions are paramount for a steady government to function.

If the parties are tumultuous over these decisions and cannot arrive at a mutually acceptable decision then the stability of the country would again be in jeopardy.

Smooth democratization in Nepal is only possible with a coalition government taking part in the decision making process in unison.

A stable political environment would prove very beneficial for the downtrodden economy of the country. Political steadiness will only lead to economic development and progress for Nepal.