Senior leaders of the Nepali Congress (NC) and the Emaalay (UML) have undermined people’s dignity by miscommunicating about the results of the constituent assembly poll held on 10 April 2008. Maoist insurgents, after their two-year long involvement in peace process, have won most of the seats in CA poll termed by national and international observers as peaceful, free and fair.
NC Supremo and current Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala, Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) Chairman Prachanda and outgoing UML General Secretary Madhav Kumar Nepal had appreciated the election as peaceful, free and fair immediately after the election was over on 10 April.
Similarly, the UN Mission to Nepal, National Election Observation Committee (NEOC) and dozens of other national and international election observers told media on the same day that the election was incredibly peaceful and well-performed.
Former US President Jimmy Carter on behalf of Carter Center remarked that it was the best election he had ever observed in the world. He even met Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala and other Nepali leaders and congratulated them for successfully holding such a peaceful, free and fair election.
India, England, France, Canada, Australia, Norway, Sweden, Japan and many other nations have already expressed their support to the elected parties.
However, contrary to the remarks by election observers, experts, and other nations, the NC and the UML, who lost heavily, have spoken lowly things after the poll results came out. After the CA poll has established Maoists as the largest political party in Nepal, the tone of the senior leaders of the NC and the UML has changed negatively. Nepal’s former Prime Minister and NC leader Sher Bahadur Deuba, Deputy President of NC and Peace and Reconstruction Minister Ram Chandra Poudel, UML outgoing General Secretary Madhav Kumar Nepal (he lost the election in both of his constituencies), and another senior UML leader Khadga Oli (he also lost the election) have accused Maoists of having won the CA poll not with people’s votes but with the use of force and threats. Their extremely negative expressions against the CA poll outcome characterize their own unchanged status-quoist mindset resisting the grassroot agenda of political and socio-economic transformation. Besides, the humiliation of the poll results has also attacked the people’s conscience and dignity. Is this a democratic culture? Can a single political party keep people’s decision-making minds in pockets?
In democracy, top political leaders have to respect people’s free votes. But just the opposite has happened in Nepal. Both the NC and UML leaders of Nepal have degraded people’s voting power. This is a negative symptom as far as the institutionalization of democracy is concerned. So long as senior political leaders do not have a culture of respecting people’s opinion and choice, democratizing the country becomes a rather difficult task.