On epoch-making development occurring in the firmament of Nepalese politics has revived hopes for the resolution of key national problems, including the writing and enactment of the new democratic constitution. That the political parties have cracked a five-point accord with regard to the formation of a national unity government, consequent to which the allegedly gigantic-sized coalition government headed by the incumbent Prime Minister, Dr. Baburam Bhattarai, has resigned to form the new national consensus government, is a welcome development. Moreover, despite some doubts and also controversies brewing within the parties, the new national unity government has also been formed. The two major parties - the Nepali Congress and CPN (UML) - have joined the new national unity government - a concept that was mooted for long but failed to materialise due to one or the other reason.
The formation of the new national government has heralded new hope especially in addressing the key national questions, including state restructuring through the federalisation process. The five-point accord, which was conceptualised and signed by the key party leaders the other day, obliges them to sort out the contentions and forge convergence on the issues appertained to the mode of governance and state restructuring so as to ensure that the constitution was drafted and enacted within three weeks as prescribed. The present national unity government, as has been agreed, will resign to give way to the formation of a new consensus government to be led by the Nepali Congress, which will be allowed to work till the new democratic elections, based on the new constitution, are held. The road map embodied in the accord agreed upon by the parties thus promises bright prospects in taking the democratic state building process forward.
However, the spate of communal and ethnic activist-led protests and processions spreading like wildfire across the country portends new dangers. The groups seek to put their identity first in the state restructuring process. Until and unless recognition to their identity was provided and legitimated in the new constitution, it would be difficult to secure their agreement and acquiescence in the new constitutional provision. The framing of the new constitution and its promulgation are going to be a major challenge to the political parties, which needs to be tackled in the most careful and accommodative manner. It is expected that the political parties will be able to get through this trial without hitting any snags.