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100 days of mediocrity

Wednesday, June 26th, 2013
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Following in the footsteps of their predecessors, Khil Raj Regmi-led government also published a booklet on its100 days in office. They have tried to highlight the announcement of election date on the list of accomplishments. While it’s natural for the government to see the setting of election date as a massive achievement, if we look at the bigger picture, these hundred days have actually been quite disappointing.

Assessing what others have done in the same time frame will help put Regmi’s achievements into perspective. Former chief justice of the Supreme Court Ram Prasad Shrestha was able to introduce stern measures to stamp out corruption within the first three months of his six month tenure. Unlike Regmi, Shrestha did not waste half the year making plans. Anup Raj Sharma who replaced Shrestha, went a step further and set a strong precedence for the hearing of corruption related cases. This shows that if there is a will then it’s possible to make things happen even within a short time.

Regmi has a historic opportunity to change the course of Nepal’s future. And this is not the time for him and his band of ex- bureaucrats to pat each other on the back and bask in the glory of announcing election dates. Yes this government is bounded by certain obligations, but if we analyse these 100 days carefully, we see that it has failed to address issues related to the public like the proliferation of the black market or worsening air pollution or the incomplete road-widening project. Good governance was largely missing in these three and a half months. What’s even more disappointing is that Regmi has not been able to address the concerns of opposition parties and civil society regarding the separation of powers.

The government faced a lot of difficulties while trying to settle election dates, but these hurdles could have been easily overcome with a bit of foresight and smart decision making. However, the delay in reaching an agreement on polls should not have been used as an excuse to overlook issues that affect ordinary Nepalis. When the government comes out with its ‘achievements of six months in office’ book, the public will be hoping that along with creating a safe environment for polls, it is able to fulfil some of their more pertinent demands.

Editorial, Rajdhani, 26 June

Click here to read the original in Nepali.

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