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Letter to Comrade Oli

Wednesday, December 20th, 2017
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kp oli portrait

Pic: Bikram Rai

From the Nepali Press

Ameet Dhakal in www.setopati.com,  19 December

Dear Comrade K P Oli

After the UML emerged as the largest party, you showed magnanimity by saying election bitterness was over and you will treat the NC with respect.

But your action soon went as cold as a Kathmandu winter.

You accused Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba of trying to stay put for a few more months, and you also warned that your men will not take their oaths of office under provincial chiefs appointed by this government. Organising a press meet at a five-star hotel, you and Maoist Chair Pushpa Kamal Dahal also accused Deuba of violating the Constitution.

Charged up by your fiery words, UML-Maoist cadres threatened to oust Deuba if he did not resign. But your allegation that Deuba is reluctant to vacate Baluwatar even after suffering a humiliating defeat is not substantiated. Deuba is just a caretaker Prime Minister, and he cannot cling on to power even if he wants to.

Everything rests on the Election Commission publishing the official final results of elections. Even after that, Deuba will not have a say in the formation of the new government. The President will initiate and oversee this process.

Deuba will have only one role in handing over power: he will have to attend the swearing-in ceremony of the new PM, congratulate him/her and then head home. So, what is the point in accusing Deuba of trying to prolong his tenure?

Dear Comrade Chairman, it seems you are miffed at Deuba for passing an ordinance on the formation of the Upper House (National Assembly) and sending it to the President for formal ratification. You have also accused Deuba of exerting pressure on the President to act against the Constitution.

It is a pity that Parliament was allowed to be dissolved without passing this bill on the formation of the NA, and the Deuba government had to do it through an ordinance.

Major parties failed to forge a consensus on the NA formation law, and you and your own UML were behind not allowing the government to pass it through a majority vote.

Dear Chairman Comrade, tell us what would you have done if you were Prime Minister instead of Deuba? You argue this ordinance is against the Constitution because it proposes a Single Transferrable Voting (STV) system to elect the A. But STV is a type of Proportional Representation (PR) system, which is recognised by the Constitution.

Lawyers close to your party are now defending you saying that the Constitution does not recognise the term STV. This is hilarious. It is like two brothers who agreed to buy a dog, and one of them bought a puppy, so the other one protested saying the deal was to buy a dog, not a puppy.

Since the NA is the Upper House, it should be as inclusive as possible. In 1990, the NC had agreed to form the Upper House through the STV system despite having a majority in the Lower House. Else, the UML would have no presence at all in the Upper House. The UML should learn from what the NC did back then.

The charges that you leveled on Deuba are now directed against you and the President. You also indirectly put pressure on the EC to publish the final results within a week so you could become the next PM. The EC has made it clear it can publish the final results only when the Upper House is formed. Otherwise, it will not be able to ensure 33% representation of women in the Lower House. You will have to shoulder the blame if the EC succumbs to pressure, and Parliament does not have 33% women as mandated by the Constitution.

Dear Comrade, there is no shortcut for you to become the next PM. You will have to wait until Chiefs of Provinces are appointed, Members of State Assemblies take their oaths and the National Assembly is formed.

You are set to rule the country for the next five years. You are faced with tremendous challenges and opportunities. At a time when you need to be a magnanimous and unifying figure, you are behaving like an arrogant politico.

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