Jumping shipThis party-hopping exercise is nothing short of betrayal of the people’s trust.
It is once again the season of polls in Nepal, and one can guess that backroom deals and bartering must be rife among the political parties. Luring interested members from rival parties or from the general populace who could enhance the parties’ position in the upcoming elections, with the promise of a lucrative berth once the government is formed, will perhaps be at the top of their agenda. And there are scores of people who will jump at the opportunity being offered.
This is not necessarily because they share the sentiments and agenda of the party or for a higher cause to serve the nation and the people, but primarily because they seek to achieve their own little vested interest. For instance, on February 21, a number of cadres of the CPN-UML and Nepali Congress switched to the CPN (Maoist Centre). While it is an individual’s prerogative to choose whatever party they want, experts have stated that such behaviour has no correlation with partisan politics. Ideological issues have nothing to do with these actions. They do it solely to achieve their ends. Unfortunately, this has become acceptable practice at the cost of the voter.
While people vote with the expectation that the person they choose will work for the nation’s greater good, our representatives do not seem to have any qualms about forgetting their campaign promises. And so, this party-hopping exercise is nothing short of a betrayal of the people’s hope for stable and effective governance. We have recently witnessed the fragmentation of the Nepal Communist Party, which commanded a majority of seats in the House, into three different parties. This resulted in a party mandated to be in the opposition heading the government with the help of dissident factions of the erstwhile Nepal Communist Party.
Despite there being checks on these tactics. An ordinance issued by the Deuba government, which they had rejected when in the opposition, facilitated the split. The previous provision requiring the support of 40 percent of the members of the central committee and the parliamentary party was reduced to just 20 percent to make things easier for themselves. All this was done to form a government to achieve their vested interests.
These actions of politicians have done nothing but dampen the spirit of democracy. While on the one hand, this has robbed the people of their mandate, on the other hand, their wanton behaviour has set a dangerous precedent. If ordinances are used as a mere tool to twist constitutional provisions as per their whims and fancies to suit their motives, what parallels are the people expected to draw from these behaviours? The rule of law is the only saving grace for stability, and this should not be tampered with.