It’s been almost two weeks since Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli dissolved the House of Representatives, a move that prompted all political parties to take to the streets.
From Madhav Kumar Nepal and the faction of the Nepalese Communist Party led by Pushpa Kamal Dahal, which broke away from Oli following the dissolution of the House, to the Nepalese Congress, to the Janata Samajbadi Party, to the Bibeksheel Sajha Party in Rastriya Prajatantra Party, all raised a strong objection to Oli’s action, calling it “unconstitutional and anti-democratic”.
But while their opinion regarding the dissolution of the lower house of parliament remains the same, they have yet to meet on the streets to challenge Oli’s decision of December 20.
The main political forces, namely the Nepalese Congress, which was the main opposition party before the dissolution of the House, the Janata Samajbadi Party and the Nepalese Communist Party led by Nepal-Dahal, which severed ties with Oli a few days after the dissolution of the lower house, have so far organized separate rallies and protest programs.
So what is preventing them from forming a united front against Oli’s decision to dissolve the House of Representatives and call for early polls on April 30 and May 10?
Some political analysts say these political parties need to have a clear protest roadmap, where they want to reach and what they want to achieve, in order to form a united front.
This has not happened so far, although the parties are trying to rally all political forces to challenge Oli’s movement through street protests.
In order to launch a joint protest movement, the Dahal-Nepal faction of the Communist Party of Nepal held two consecutive interactions on Tuesday and Wednesday with various political parties and civil society groups.
Baburam Bhattarai, former prime minister and party leader Janata Samajbadi, said in Wednesday’s interaction that a joint protest movement had not started because relations between the two factions of the Communist Party of Nepal are still unclear. .
“What if the two factions decided to patch things up?” Our protest movement will then be meaningless. We want to be clear on which side the Nepalese Communist Party is on, âBhattarai said, demanding responses from the Dahal-Nepal faction.
Meanwhile, the Nepalese Congress is also uncomfortable associating with the Dahal-Nepal faction of the Communist Party of Nepal.
The party has decided to maintain an equal distance between the Dahal-Nepal and Oli factions for the time being.
This apparent lack of unity is not, however, limited to political parties alone. Even civil society groups are dispersed.
Professor Krishna Khanal, political commentator, believes that the current agenda is for political parties and they should decide where they go.
âWhat do political parties want: the reestablishment of the Chamber or the elections? What is their destination? What do they want to achieve? They’ve just protested so far, it’s not a commotion. Agitation and protest are two different things. The parties have not yet entered the phase of agitation. I think they will do so once the Supreme Court delivers the verdict on the decision to dissolve the house of Oli, âKhanal said.
The Supreme Court has started hearing petitions against Oli’s decision to dissolve the lower house.
Meanwhile, three major political parties, the Nepalese Congress, the Dahal-Nepal faction of the Communist Party of Nepal and the Janata Samajbadi Party, have announced their second round of protests, which they plan to hold separately.
Raghuji Pant, a leader of the Dahal-Nepal faction, believes the parties will eventually join forces against Oli’s action.
âWe have just completed the first phase of our protest. It will take a little longer for people and parties to come together, âhe told the Post. âThere will be a series of protests once the political parties and the people come to the same conclusion, that Oli’s decision threatens to demolish the system and undo all achievements.
Pant also sympathized with former Prime Minister Bhattarai’s concern over the unclear relationship between the two factions of the Communist Party of Nepal.
âWe are clarifying our position, but that does not seem sufficient. But I felt that there was a growing positive environment among political parties, members of civil society and others to organize a joint demonstration, âhe said.
A senior Nepalese Congress official told the Post that party chairman Sher Bahadur Deuba was still not convinced that the Nepalese Communist Party had truly divided.
“According to President Deuba’s assertion, the party is still one because the electoral commission did not recognize the split by registering two separate parties,” the leader told the Post.
Nepalese Congress spokesman Bishow Prakash Sharma also confirmed the position maintained by the party leadership.
“Yes, we have common points of view against Oli’s decision, but we have decided to organize separate protest programs, because we still see Oli, Dahal and Nepal as the leaders of the same party”, a- he declared.
âWhere were Dahal and Nepal and their faction leaders who were part of the Oli cabinet when the anti-democratic laws were introduced? Why did they not oppose these unconstitutional and anti-democratic laws then? ”
Uddhab Pyakurel, assistant professor at Kathmandu University and political columnist, says doubts are justified against the Dahal-Nepal faction on the part of the parties, as it had done little to keep Oli in check when his government has introduced a series of oppressive laws in the past.
âThe Dahal-Nepal faction is the first victim of Oli’s decision, so they are now calling for a joint protest movement. But what did he do to make Oli accountable to the people, the system, the parliament and the constitution while he was part of the same party? said Pyakurel.
âDahal and Nepal cannot convince or convince parties and people overnight to forge an alliance to oppose Oli’s decision. It will take a little longer for the people and the parties to understand the situation and take to the streets as one, united force.