Yesterday (20th December 2020), president Her Excellency Bidhya Devi Bhandari announced the dissolution of Nepal’s House of the Representatives two years ahead of its normal tenure in order to hold a mid-term poll which will occur on April 30 and May 10 2020.
While this new comes as a shock for Nepalese society and the world, it is no surprise that relations within the Nepal Communist Party are shaped by the sometimes-dissenting visions between the CPN UML (led by K P Sharma Oli) and the Maoist faction (led by former PM Pushpa Kamal Dahal).
It would be unfair to say that the NCP coalition has not been successful since Oli’s government has so far achieved to carry out its electoral promises and face Nepal’s top challenges. Nonetheless, it is also undeniable that the power tussle within the party hinders government efforts.
Nepal’s current political landscape is uncertain and tense, however, Prime Minister Right Honorable KP Sharma Oli’s political move should be understood and treated as an opportunity.
There are many grounds to support the rightfulness of the KP Oli government, nonetheless the main reason for doing so is to avoid the breakdown of the government that has achieved a milestone in Nepal foreign policy.
Over the years, Nepal and India have maintained a dispute over the region of Kalapani, Lipulekh and Limpiyadhura which is informally administered by India due to the police and military presence, a dispute which has been never formally resolved, with many episodes of failed negotiations.
After a controversial period of tensions between Nepal and India (mainly due to Oli’s position and statements), both countries recently agreed to hold a round of talks in order to discuss the situation of the disputed border, looking forward to reaching an agreement and mending relations. Should Nepal regain any amount of control over the disputed territory would be a major victory for the country.
Thus, focus should be put on this political milestone, and political actors should leave behind partisan and personal considerations in favor of the greatness of Nepal, and support the government as India is willing to sit down to the negotiating table with.
Besides, on the wake of autocratic behavior claims by some political actors in Nepal, it is of vital importance making sure that Oli’s move is, if anything, democratic above all.
Oli’s term has been anything but easy, since many challenges have shaken Nepal over the last years, among them, the outbreak of COVID-19, which the whole world is struggling with.
Within this context, having the bravery to give up the privileged position that Oli holds as of now by being a prime minister in order to hold elections to solve the internal disputes of the ruling party constitutes an unprecedented showcase of democratic behavior.
As a wrap up, public innovator of Nepal Er. Dipendra Kandel welcomes prime minister Oli step as it is a demonstration of self-criticism and democratic values, and it will give Nepalese society the opportunity to enhance the confidence in the government by potentially casting a confidence vote and giving KP Oli the opportunity to keep up with his government policies, and most importantly, leading the struggle to regain control over disputed territories with bordering India.