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Big three weakening federalism

The Himalayan Times
25 August 2023


Big three weakening federalism

Nepal was officially declared a Federal Democratic Republic on May 28, 2008, by the first Constituent Assembly, even though it was unable to promulgate a new constitution. The federal system of governance was believed to ensure economic equality, prosperity, and social justice by eliminating discrimination and oppression based on class, caste, region, language, religion, and gender, created by the centralized, unitary system of governance as claimed by the major political parties. The political parties didn't deem it necessary to extensively deliberate and debate on federalism in order to establish general consensus among all the concerned authorities. Local levels, especially provincial governments have failed to meet people's expectations owing to the improper and weak organizational structures.

The scary national economy, bad governance, rampant corruption at all levels of government, undermining of the constitution by the political actors and the growing distrust of the people on the existing political system, among others have been of major concern and worry for the continuation of the federal structure. Honesty, integrity, and loyalty are grossly lacking among the elected political leaders and government officials. Not a single day passes without news on corruption and misappropriations of state coffers, abuse of power, and lack of accountability. The state-owned institutions have been systematically and heavily politicised. The only institution that remains functional without much problem, as of now, is the Nepali Army. Even though, recently some lawmakers raised their voices to downsize the existing strength of army.

Recent events of big corruption scams like the Lalita Nowas land grab, fake Bhutanese refugee cases and one quintal of gold confiscated at TIA show how state power has been grossly abused and misused. Senior leaders of major political parties do not seem to be necessarily willing to stand together for addressing the national agenda and people’s sufferings rather than making House their political hostage for several days and weeks. The recent political scuffle in Gandaki, Lumbini and Koshi for power could be the start of political failure of the federal structure.

Rai Biren Bangdel