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17 Dec 2017

Nepal Election: A Victory Of The Electoral System

Vidya Bhushan Rawat, South Asia :Nepal’s electoral victory of the left alliance is of great relief for the people of that country as we hope that the country will have a stable government which could focus on the basic issues of the people and move ahead rebuilding its society based on equality, liberty and fraternity.

It is fortunate that Nepal’s constituent assembly as well as political parties did not opt to copy the corrupted Indian model and opted for a mixed electoral system where 60% of the total constituencies for the Federal Parliament’s ‘House of Representative” or what they call as “Pratinidhi Sabha’ comes from the FPTP system as in India but 40% of the total seats fall under the Proportionate Electoral System. So out of 275 seats, Nepal’s voter elect 165 from direct voting and 110 by listing methods of the PES. This has helped the wider representation of the people belonging to Janjatis and dalits in the Parliament.

The Left Alliance has won decisively in Nepal defeating the Congress led alliance. CPN (UML) got 80 seats which is around 49% of the total seat through FPTP while the main rival Nepal Congress could just get 23 seats and the Maoists won 36. Interesting part is that all the left forces joined hand long back considering the absolute bankruptcy of the so called centrist parties. Even in the Proportionate vote too, CPN(UML) was number one with total vote share of 33.85% while Nepali Congress came close second with 32.92% and Maoists with about 13.63% of votes.

Along with the National Parliament, Nepal has elected representatives for 7 new states too which were carved out though naming these states is still a big challenge. The experiment remain good as both the state as well as the National Assembly can now focus on the governance aspect.

Nepal has seen a long phase of uncertainity and also voted against political formations which they consider were raising their ugly trying to destablise the country. The Madheshis have got a big jolt and Nepali Congress which was considered to be encouraging them has been decisively defeated. India was seen as deliberately encouraging the Madheshi groups now will have to work hard to build up good relations with the new government.

There is nothing to be alarmed from a left government in Nepal. Having good relations and supporting Nepal in protecting its territorial integrity should be India’s concern. Nepal has felt the pain of the irresponsible blockade that India imposed on it resulting it looking towards its eastern border for help yet Nepal and India are not only politically close but socio-culturally too they cant be separated. The only point is that Indian ruling classes and its government must respect Nepali sentiments, its territorial integrity and its sovereignty. Nepal is a friendly country and we must accept its independence to decide its foreign policy.

It is good that the role of the religious people in Nepal’s political life is not that powerful as it is happening in India. We are happy that Nepal’s political class, social movements should understand that keeping religious businessmen out of the politics is in the best of their interest. We know most of the babas want to open their ‘shops’ in Nepal to spread not only superstition but create false alarm about a possible ”enemy”. Nepal has lost a lot of time and it is now time for it too focus on its development which is inclusive. No development is possible without demolishing the prevailing social hierarchies which are birth based and for that we will have to work on ‘scientific land reform” which former Prime Minister Prachanda had spoken at an International conference, several years back. We hope the left front government will form a National Land Commission and focus on land reforms vigorously that help democratise the society and make it more inclusive. It is important that these land reforms must help the Dalits, Janjatis, and women. That apart, Nepal must bring anti superstition law and totally ban untouchability and caste discrimination. It has a National Dalit Commission and other bodies that work for women and Human Rights too. We hope, all these commissions will be given enough rights and strength in the greater interest of the society.

We congratulate Election Commission of Nepal for successful hosting of the National and provincial assemblies elections simultaneously. Nepal is on the path of historic change and hopefully, the political leaders there, will stand together and rebuild their country brick by brick. Our solidarity and good wishes to people of Nepal.

Vidya Bhushan Rawat is a social and human rights activist. He blogs at www.manukhsi.blogspot.com twitter @freetohumanity Email: vbrawat@gmail.com 

(Source & Courtesy: http://www.countercurrents.org/2017/12/15/nepal-election-a-victory-of-the-electoral-system/)

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