Nepal

Positive signs

Jun 8, 2017
Things seem to have started in the positive direction after an agreement between the three biggest parties in Parliament – the Nepali Congress, the CPN-UML, and the CPN-Maoist Centre. The first phase of the local level polls have been completed under Pushpa Kamal Dahal as Prime Minister, and the second-phase election is to take place on June 28 under the leadership of Sher Bahadur Deuba who was elected Prime Minister yesterday for the fourth time after a gap of 12 years. Deuba will have to hold the elections of the other two tiers as well by January 21, 2018. Whatever bitterness might have remained among the major political parties till the other day has been reduced so far as to pave the way for the smooth transfer of power, formation of government, and implementation of the constitution, which would not be completed without holding the elections to the three tiers of elections.
 
The masses are already eager to take part in the elections, as reflected during the first phase election in three provinces. The electoral bandwagon has already been moving ahead, and some of the parties based in the Tarai which have had reservations about some provisions of the constitution have already taken part in the first phase election, and six of the parties represented in the Madhesi Morcha which had not taken part in the first phase election, but are now organized under one party called the Rastriya Janata Party—Nepal, now seem inclined to take part in the election if certain technical matters are settled like registering the party and giving it a separate election symbol. Just before Deuba’s election, NC and CPN-MC have signed an agreement with the Federal Socialist Forum led by Upendra Yadav and the RJP-N separately, but with similar three-point provisions, including the commitment to implement the three-point agreement signed before the Dahal-led coalition government with the Congress was formed, and the support of these Madhes-based parties to Deuba in the Prime Minister’s election.
 
The understanding with the CPN-UML led to the withdrawal of the impeachment motion registered in Parliament against Chief Justice Sushila Karki, which had also become a headache for the ruling coalition. The four-point agreement with the main opposition party expresses the commitment to hold the second phase of the local level election on time peacefully and fairly, probing of allegations of election irregularities, if any, and to hold the provincial and central elections by the constitutional deadline. 
 
These points seek to address common concerns of the people regarding the implementation of the constitution and strengthening of democracy. The big three parties should continue to show a similar spirit of cooperation on issues of common interest, particularly regarding the execution of the constitution, until the provincial assemblies and federal parliament are formed. Flexibility is required to take into the political mainstream other smaller parties left out for whatever reasons without in any way compromising the sovereignty and other national interests. In this, the CPN-UML also seems to be supportive, as judged by what CPN-UML chairman K P Sharma Oli spoke in Parliament yesterday.
 
The World Environment Day was observed Monday with various programmes. These are done in order to raise awareness about the environment. Environmental conservation should receive due attention. It is also necessary to conserve the environment while carrying out development works. We need to conserve forests, environment and wildlife which are being threatened worldwide. Among various programmes to conserve the environment Nepal introduced community forestry which has become a roaring success. This is something we should be proud about making our country a trendsetter. This has led to prosperity in the social and economic arena.
 
Unfortunately, the country is losing much greenery and timber smugglers are involved in massive destruction of forests. “Connecting People to Nature” was the slogan adopted for this year’s World Environment Day which is very appropriate. It is evident that this would serve to preserve the environment if carried out properly. It also shows that humans play a crucial role in the endeavour to conserve the environment.
 
The Himalayan Times, June 8, 2017

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