I am thankful to the esteemed and highly scholastic 8-grader know-it-all PM Oli of Nepal. Even though I left the US almost 14 years ago, I feel like I am not missing any of the Trumpian charisma right here in Nepal. The PM recommended the dissolution of the Parliament on Sunday and his cohort President Bhandari without blinking the eyelid approved announcing the next election on April 30 and May 10. The shockwave this has created is helping Nepal in two fronts, I am supposing.
First, the whole country is in such a shock that the parties are giving really heated statements in the media. Here are some of them:
- This is a constitutional coup.
- He has used the power he does not possess.
- There is absolutely no reason to dissolve the parliament. One cannot cover up one’s inadequacy by targeting one’s anger at the parliament.
- Oli’s move to dissolve the parliament is his death knell.
- This is highly unrestrained, autocratic, unconstitutional move.
- The Supreme Court will rescind this move.
As we can witness, the Constitutional scholars and high profile politicians have denounced this self-serving move by the PM. Not all are outraged though. Some hard core loyalists like his deputy PM Ishwor Pokhrel has said that the PM was forced to take this action and they will now make all their opponents lick dust in the next election. Well, that is a pretty good proposition, I think because it is hundred times better than the things they have been licking all their lives, the rears or for better word in Nepal the “maldwars.” In fact, licking mother Earth might even give them some reality check and immunity to confront corona.
In the next few days we will see all the media expound on this issue. But what is the real cause of this all happening? Few comes to my mind as an ordinary citizen who is not as endowed as our highly-scholarly and politically astute leaders. First, it is all the power game. The reason is the persistent demand for him to give up some of his power, or even the PM ship. He stubbornly refused to give both of his positions. In that process he has put even the Constitution in jeopardy.
Second, there is no career alternatives left. Spending 14 years in prison is not like going to higher education, as some expert has commented. There are plenty of evidence that he has been sponsoring corruption and used Yeti and Omni groups to loot the nation. We can understand this. It is not a really hard thing to understand. Just think. His political career is over now. He cannot be the PM again because if things go as they expect in their dreams, Communists will rule for half a century more but Prachanda will be the next in throne. Where will that leave Oli? Nowhere! He has no real skill to make a decent living. Sure, he could have been a great comedian and beaten all of them at it, but he did not get a good career counseling back when it mattered. So, now he has no future in the Communist party.
Third, he is readying for a split. It helps us understand why he has already registered another UML party that he can chair and make another bid as the superstar Politian with all the minions ready to lick his highly scented, history making… err…. chair. Power is not something that is ever given up, unless, well, if you are the king with a good business acumen and concern for the people’s will. Oli has no alternative to stand on so it is a good play to extend the hold on power for at least to the next election about five more months. That will be enough time to amass more ill-gotten treasures from corona-sucked dry nation and poverty-sucked people.
Now, we come to the question why Sunday? You might ask. It turned out that he has placed good informants everywhere to feel the pulse of the nation, as all great leaders are known to do. That very morning at 10:30 PM a no-confidence motion has been registered at the parliament secretariat by 90 legislators. That gave a clear signal to the beleaguered PM that his days would be over soon. He has been consistently in minority because like him there are hundreds of aspirants to higher position and lucrative perks that are endowed on them. So, we can be certain that this was a self-preservation move by an individual who has no alternate means to sustain himself, let alone live in the privileges offered to the chief executive. In that sense, he is in the same spot as the mighty US president Trump, who will soon take a drastic move himself. It seems the two executives are soul brothers and get inspired by each other. Both of them have burned the Constitution and soon US may be in an arms conflict. Nepal too is heading for a decisive political battle as arms are cheap and easy to get.
The winter chill is now less biting because of such a warm political fire. I really am feeling less affected sitting in room with a 14 degree Celsius temperature. Watching protesters burning effigies of the PM across Nepal is making me feel the heat from those enticing fire display. The palpating heat from the protesters’ expression is equally comforting. So, as we heat up the atmosphere and become energized, corona is definitely going to take a back seat, alarmed at this sudden pushback by Nepalis. Such a shockwave can make even the devious corona reel from the impact, so it would be better for it to leave for far tamer Western countries like the US and Europe. That will make Nepal avoid the one kharba rupees estimated to be required for the vaccines and the cure. Why spend so much on corona when only about 30 arba election expenses will get us a new parliament? Now, do you see the genius behind the smart move by the PM and the President? We get 70 percent discount with one sensation move.
Just one more thing. When and if we get to vote for the election next time, shall we at least make sure that the people we are voting for have descent character and good education background? There are alternatives if only we have the eyes to see. At this point, I am reminded a lesson I learned in grade 5: Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. Maybe we should all learn it now.
There is one thing that has been proven time and again by three prime ministers who sought to go for mid-term election. Nepal cannot support democracy because no one understand the character it requires. It is like the PCR machines that are lying without use in various hospitals because there are no technicians to use them. We have to go back to what we know.
Nepalese politicians are either too inept or just too clever for their own good. About Oli, we hear that he is a very shrewd and astute politician. That may be so but when politics moves away from being a means to serve the people to cater to few special interests, then the game has changed. As you know we have a neat proverb for such situation, that the clever man falls harder, “batho khancha teen baldyang.”
The writer is a graduate of Arizona State University in Political Science. He is working as a social activist and motivational speaker for students across Nepal since 2007. He also blogs at Strong Blog.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necesarily reflect the official policy or position of Nepalisite.