Nepal is in the throes of a new crisis. The life of the constituent assembly, which was tasked with drafting the constitution for a republican Nepal, ends on Friday. Unless the country’s fractious political parties come to an agreement on extending the duration of the assembly, there will be a constitutional crisis in Kathmandu.
It is unfair to apportion the blame for this crisis equally to all parties. Of all the groups, the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) deserves the maximum share. Its leader, the intransigent Pushpa Kamal Dahal (or Prachanda), fancies himself as prime ministerial material and wants the present incumbent, Madhav Nepal, to step down. This is Prachanda’s price to extend a lifeline to the constituent assembly.
His outlook is undemocratic. Jostling for office and primacy is the domain of “normal” politics and not that of leaders setting the constitutional agenda of their country. Prachanda is playing with the future of Nepal. His lust for power and privilege does not bode well for the Himalayan Republic.