An “Election Government” for Nepal

Nepal has been without an elected government since May 27 last year.  Its politicians have been fighting ever since about who should lead the interim government necessary so there can be an election.

The four major parties have at last reached an agreement.  They want an “election government” led not by a politician but by Chief Justice Regmi.  Leaders of the UCPN (Maoist), Nepali Congress, CPN-UML and Madhesi Front just signed an 11-point political agreement to form an “interim electoral council” made up of 11 former civil servants.  This is because the NC and the UML would not agree to elections under the UCPN (Maoist) Baburam Bhattarai-led government.  President Ram Baran Yadav approved the agreement and has administered the oath of office to Regmi and two ministers.

The election of a new Constituent Assembly to complete drafting Nepal’s new Constitution will, they say, be held by June 21st.  But the “interim electoral council” will get a second term to December 15th, 2013 if it fails to hold the elections due to ‘any technical or untoward situation’.

Twenty two smaller parties represented in the dissolved Constituent Assembly, including the CPN-Maoist that recently split off from the UCPN(Maoist), rejected the idea and said they will launch protests.  The new Prime Minister should be from within the parties, they say.  Of course, it should not be Baburam Bhatterai the acting Prime Minister since last May 27.

The interim Cabinet will be responsible for holding the elections and overseeing day-to-day administration but will make no decision that could have a long-term impact.

Should we be optimistic?  Why not?  But we should also keep in mind that, ‘this is Nepal, so anything can happen”.  Or nothing can continue to happen.

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