Polls Only Solution For Present Nepal Crisis

Former assistant minister and former president of the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry Ravi Bhakta Shrestha said that the King’s command to hold municipal elections by February next year and holding general elections in 2063 BS was a process to bring the derailed democracy back on track.

“The King is fully committed for strengthening the multiparty democracy and the King’s message on the occasion of the Dashain festival gives a significant gesture that the King is willing to handover the executive power to an elected government as soon as possible”, said the noted businessman.

Contrary to the rumours created by political parties, that the King would opt for a strong move against them, the King commanded the Election Commission for holding general elections by next year, Shrestha said and added that the King had no bad intentions against democracy.

The only outlet from the current political crisis is polls and all political parties should participate in the election to resolve the crisis, he said. “This is an opportunity for the political parties that they now hold the people’s mandate. Hence, they must participate in the polls. If they are a democratic force, they should not be worried from such a democratic practice.”

When asked about whether there was an environment for conducting polls, Shrestha replied, “If we all support the polls we can successfully carry them out. There is no doubt about it.” “Those people who visit foreign countries and ask for an imposing blockade against their own motherland are the enemies of the country,” he remarked.

On a query about the currently introduced media ordinance, Shrestha opined that such an effort would help the media sector to make it responsible. The practice of yellow journalism, character assassination of innocent people as well should be checked. The current ordinance will help to check such practices, he commented.

“We have witnessed that some people in media were promoting terrorism and anti-national activities. This is very much a dangerous trend and it was essential to check such a practice,” Shrestha observed and said that the Ordinance might have been introduced to check such practices. “Foreigners too should make their comment only after understanding the situation,” he said.

Commenting on the functioning of the government, Shrestha expressed his dissatisfaction, and said, “The government has not been able to deliver in an effective manner. The major challenges of the government is to bring the bureaucracy on proper track and corruption control and improvement in the delivery system”.

Even during such a critical situation, the King visited the heavily Maoist influenced areas in the remote parts of the country. Everywhere the King visited, local people expressed their overwhelming support to the King. This is evidence that the people have strong faith with the King. They have expressed their support to the King just because of the King’s wishes to restore peace and democracy, Shrestha concluded.

Bahadur Singh is a Nepal-based journalist, who writes about the political goings-on in Kathmandu and other areas.