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Sunday, 1 December 2013

NEPAL ELECTION FEVER 2070

It was around 2006 when the Maoist leader Prachanda decided to be seen in public finally. More than anything, everyone was hurry to see what he really looks like. I was one of them. I had always imagined him someone like Bin laden ‘long beard, tangled hair and, tall and skinny’ but looking at his picture for the first time, I had said ‘Actually, he looks quite gentle’.

Since last 2 weeks, my twitter has been overloaded with election results. It was fun as well as hectic. We may all remember ‘The rise and rise of Maoist’ in 2008 election when they were given chance to draft a new constitution but they failed badly. I guess nobody is surprised on their defeat this time. At least I am not! 

So, how Nepalese citizens turned from Maoist supporter to Maoist hater?

        1.   They don’t value a life of a person.
I sometimes question whether they are really up to working for nation or they just want to lead the country for the sake of name. Is anyone ever going to take into an account of 17000 lives lost during a long decade war? I don’t know who is to blame here? The one who killed, or the one who gave the power to the killer. Then the time came, which made everyone confused on who actually are the protestors, who are the leaders and who are the sufferers.

        2.  They failed to lead:
One of the things Maoist wanted to do was to stop bringing foreign investment in Nepal. I wont say whether thats good or bad but lets look at how many Nepalese people are living around the world at the moment:
Country
Number of People (Approx.)
Qatar
98821
Malaysia
84351
Saudi Arabia
72226
UK
60000
UAE
52509
Kuwait
23062

Well, that’s just few of the countries Nepalese try to escape everyday for better employment. BBC also made news on how Nepalese dream of working abroad. So, am I right in understanding the alternative method to stop bringing foreign investment in is to force our people to go to foreign lands? Of course, it is people’s choice to live wherever they want to. I don’t have anything to say to those who have personal reason to leave Nepal but out of these numbers, most of them leave because of lack of employment opportunity. We may all know the recent Qatar crisis? They didn’t have to go through all those if we had work available in our country. Thinking about economy, while I write this, I try to think what good they have done but nothing is coming on my mind. Oh yea, at least we fed 5 different Prime ministers in these 5 years and that was very very important. Remember how Maoist used to say, ‘We fight for poor because our party is poor’? Having seen them living in jungle, everyone assumed they are indeed poor but as soon as they came in power, Maoist leader Prachanda was living in Mansion with a monthly rent of 103000 rupees in Kathmandu.

Maoist also wanted to end the class, caste and gender barrier but what did we see as a result? Distribution of different districts to different castes! Caste system became top priority in Nepal. So that’s how they wanted to end caste barrier may be. 

      3. They don’t prioritise the responsibility
In 1996, Dr. Baburam Bhattarai handed 40-points demands to then Prime minister Sher Bahadur Deuba. Negotiation between both parties failed and the decade-long war began. So after 15 years (in 2011), Dr Bhattrai became prime minister and he totally forgot about those 40 points himself. I guess political people have one illness. During campaigning, it’s all about ‘We and We’ but after they win, it’s all about ‘I and I’. They probably need a decent secretary who keeps nagging them about what they said before and what they are doing now. Remember the time when our national anthem was changed three times? and when our national flag was going to be altered? Well, I never understood why flag was in agenda in first place. May be they thought sun and moon can never be together?

Observing all those points, I kind of wonder why people supported Maoist in first place? It didn’t take me long to remember why:
Nepalese citizens were fed up of ever going corruption and not being able to do anything good by Nepali congress and UML. I still remember 2005 incident when Sher Bahadur Deuba was arrested from his own home in charge of corruption. It was a regular drama. Incidents like these brought Maoist as a new hope in people’s eyes. They became more popular when they started talking about the caste discrimination. Specially, people living in rural areas and who have been victim of caste discrimination believed them. Simultaneously, after Royal massacre, when Nepalese citizens were blaming Gyanendra Shah and his son Parash Shah, Maoist became brave enough to dethrone the Monarchy. That event overrated Maoist and people started believing that ‘Only Maoist can make Nepal’. In fact I have to admit here, during Royal massacre, none of the political parties (who were leading at that time) were brave enough to come forward and declare Dipendra innocent but Girija Prasad Koirala. Mr Koirala at that time promised everyone that he would bring out the truth but since his party’s position was in risk itself, he concentrated more on removing Maoists.

Here is my small attempt to explain how election works:
We all know Nepal has 5 development regions that cumulate 75 districts.
Development regions
Zones
Districts
Sub-Regions
Eastern
3
16
56
Central
3
19
81
Western
3
16
49
Mid-Western
3
15
33
Far-Western
2
9
21
TOTAL
14
75
240

How many seats are available?
Directly voted constituents
240
Proportional constituents
335
Party nominated figures
26
TOTAL
601

1. Directly voted constituents: Voters choose 240 people from 240 sub-regions.

2. Proportional constituents: Those who vote for ‘directly voted constituents’ also get to vote for their favourite parties as a proportional vote. Proportional vote is based on percentage. For example, if total vote is 100, and Nepali Congress got 30 out of 100 vote, which is 30%, that means in proportional constituents, 30% of 335 seats will be occupied by Nepali Congress. Party itself will decide on who will be lucky enough to be in that 30%.

3. Party nominated figures: The elected candidates of each party choose these constituents. Taking the same example, lets say Nepali Congress received 30 out of 100 vote in proportional. So, 30% of 26, which is 8 seats will be occupied by Nepali Congress and they are free to give those seats to whoever they want to but normally, to those who are very successful and influential figures.

 “Here is your country. Cherish these natural wonders, cherish the natural resources, cherish the history and romance as a sacred heritage, for your children and your children's children. Do not let selfish men or greedy interests skin your country of its beauty, its riches or its romance.”  Theodore Roosevelt