Prime Minister Dr. Baburam Bhattarai has vowed to conduct the election for another Constituent Assembly on schedule and hand over power to the newly elected prime minister through the due constitutional process. Talking to media persons at the Tribhuvan International Airport upon return from Brazil on Monday after taking part in the United Nations conference on sustainable development, Prime Minister Bhattarai urged all the political parties to stop whimpering and extend cooperation in building national consensus and holding the election, which is the only way out to end the ongoing political transition of the country. Given the political impasse and the difference in the views the parties hold, there has to be a meeting point to give the country a genuine and tangible outlet. This calls for efforts both from the government as well as the opposition parties.
But the demand by the opposition parties for the resignation of the prime minister is unlikely to even set the mood for consensus. This will do nothing but only push the country into further crisis and uncertainty. Now that the election has already been announced, the resignation of the prime minister at this point of time when there is no parliament could result in another political disaster. This would not only create a political and constitutional vacuum but may also invite authoritarian rule in the country. The country for the time being has, therefore, no better alternative than the election, which is a great democratic exercise.
In a democracy, people have the dominant say in any political decision making, which is the inalienable right of the people. People exercise this right through their representatives who are elected by the people. Thus, elections are the soul of democracy, and it is the duty of the political parties and responsible citizens to make sincere contribution on their part to ensure free and fair elections. But some political parties, in particular the two dominant parties outside the government, have opposed the election and even threatened to boycott this democratic exercise, which shows their irresponsible behaviour that runs counter to democratic norms and ideals. The recent activities and remarks by the two parties are against what the democratic ideals they have championed for years and decades.
Running away from an election shows the partiesí lack of confidence in themselves, especially given the ongoing political problem being faced in the Nepali Congress and UML. As far as political consensus is concerned, the prime minister is always open and positive about forging national consensus to form a national unity government. And should he step down - which he has said he might should he prove to be an obstacle in forging consensus - what guarantee is there that there will be national consensus under a new prime minister?