The question I asked last week while the alliance was declared. I was shocked. I mean, how could a party that is in the government (CPN Maoist Centre) decide to work together with the party that is a staunch opposition of the government (CPN-UML)? But Mr Pushpa Kamal Dahal (Prachanda) said:
“Politics is a game of probabilities to a huge extent.”
As far as I understand Nepali politics, the probability of Maoist Centre and UML coming together was extremely low. Not long ago, Mr Prachanda had broken an alliance with Mr KP Sharma Oli, almost filed an impeachment and Mr Oli gave a resignation from the PM. Not only did the Maoist Centre break the coalition, they went ahead and supported Mr Deuba.
We got another former PM Dr Baburam Bhattarai in this alliance. He had broken up with the Maoists, because of his bitter experiences with Mr Prachanda but he’s back joining hands with him.
What was going on? I thin
1.Polarization: Polarization has often been termed as negative but we always expected fewer political parties, didn’t we? This election-time polarization is most probably a step into that stability we wanted. However, this is not a complete polarization. Maoists did not leave the government to make this alliance. If this was a complete polarization based on political ideologies, I think we would be alarmed.
2. Selfish interests: The political leaders and parties of Nepal do everything for the “sake of the nation and the people”. Have we progressed though? The “leftists”, while making the alliance, again said that this is an important step in stability. I’m skeptic. Look, this is just an alliance, not unification. The larger probability is that after the elections are conducted and winning a large number of seats, Mr Prachanda, Mr Oli and Dr Bhattarai will play the same old blame-game, break the alliance and we’ll fall into instability again. I believe not many Nepalis will say, “We didn’t see that coming.”
3. Politics between the three major parties: The NC and the UML led government were polar opposites during the blockade we faced. UML (particularly the then PM Mr Oli) blamed it on India completely, went on against even genuine demands of Madhesh. Very few people remember that it was continuity of the stance taken by Late Sushil Koirala while he was the PM. After Mr Koirala’s resignation, NC stated it was not a blockade at all. Mr Deuba rose to power following Mr Koirala’s death. He showed an affection with the Madhesh. It was important in NC’s victory in Province 2. Maoists, showing the behaviour of opportunists, wanted to capitalize on that by making an alliance with NC but it did not bear fruit. Now they make alliance with the party that won the largest number of seats in the local level. I believe it’s the alliance that ensures survival of the Maoists and helps Mr Oli gain a upper hand in politics for at least a couple of years to come.
What could happen?
1.Communists win: While it seems good for us that one of the major political ideology becomes victorious, I’m a bit scared. Why? These Communist parties of Nepal are not the communists that are against democracy and capitalism but they still stick to the term because it lures common people. However, the US, NATO and the EU look upon even the word “Communist” against Democracy. I’m scared that they will try creating instablity if they see “Communists” running the Nepali government.
2. Political Stability at least for some years: The Constitution prohibits impeachment of the PM for the first three years but it does not prohibit breaking of political alliances or coalition and it also does not prevent the PM from resigning. I think this will be again used as a tool for instability. With an alliance of larger parties, it might be more stable but will they stick together for long? I doubt.
- I am dubious that everything will be nice henceforth and there will be a political stability.
- I am scared about world-view regarding the “Communist” victory.
- I believe this alliance is temporary. If it becomes long-lasting, I would be positively shocked and smile from ear to ear.
- And yeah, I didn’t mention it above but this alliance could be a way for the UML to use government resources. Who knows?
[Note: First published as an answer to What’s your view on recent political development in Nepal regarding alliance of leftist party? on Quora]