Cycle of ineptitudeWe should not expect much from a government by the least suitable people.
Jog your memory back to mid-2020. KP Sharma Oli was the prime minister and the co-chair of the Nepal Communist Party leading the government. Many hoped the prime minister and the political parties would act responsibly and steer the nation out of the global health crisis and towards a path of stability and prosperity. However, the erstwhile leader and the political parties never failed to disappoint us. People had to endure constant infighting and political wrangling; factions within the same party demanding lucrative ministerial berths leading to instability among the ranks. Unable to pull off their demands, the principal protagonists Pushpa Kamal Dahal and Madhav Kumar Nepal, with the assistance of other opportunists, managed to wrest the mantle of power in the hope of fulfilling their demands.
Fast forward to the present moment. Nepal has a “new” prime minister in Sher Bahadur Deuba. Despite having assumed office for over 50 days, he has not been able to distribute the majority of ministerial portfolios to the patchwork of colourful factions that support him. And to garner support, one of his first acts as prime minister was to amend a law that would ease party split, something the Nepali Congress had vehemently opposed in April 2020 when Oli sought to issue the same ordinance in the House.
It seems to be a never-ending loop, which we never seem to be able to sever. The backdrop of Oli’s fall rested on accusations such as incompetence, instability, abuse of power and misrule, to cite a few. What lies before us are the same issues. Every government comes with a promise to better the situation of the people. Yet, without a sense of embarrassment, the politicians continue to fight over positions of power, not for the nation's service but to meet their fancies.
The same ordinance that helped Deuba assume office has now become a burden. At least one political party, the Janata Samajwadi Party (JSP) of the alliance, has demanded that Deuba squash the ordinance on the Political Parties Act before it will aid in Cabinet expansion. The reason is that it could warrant further splits within the JSP if the actors within the party are not satisfied by the ministerial berths allotted to them. Then we have Madhav Nepal’s CPN (United Socialist) and lawmakers in the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist Centre) who are crucial players. An entire act played out to serve their ends.
At a time when the nation requires them to lay down their differences to focus on the economic mess, unemployment amongst youths, educational woes, least to point out the apparent pandemic, the parties continue to throw away opportunities to remedy the errors of the past and provide sound governance for the reason they occupy positions of such esteem and responsibility. But alas, all the pleas of the people invariably fall on deaf ears. After all, we should not expect much from a government by the least suitable or competent citizens. This is no case of democracy at work; it is, in fact, a kakistocracy.