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Interview: Expert on how to make democracy fully felt by Nepali people

2014-01-23 19:28:07  来源: 【返回列表】

KATHMANDU, Jan. 22 (Xinhua) -- The problem with democracy in Nepal is that it is not being sufficiently felt by the people, particularly those in the grassroots, according to Dr. Yurendra Basnett, a research fellow at the Overseas Development Institute here.

     In a recent interview with Xinhua, Basnett said that the governance must be brought closer to people "to make democracy more responsive" in the Himalayan nation.

     Basnett said that inequality is still deeply rooted in the Nepalese society, adding that the danger is when political groups would use these social, economic and political grievances to lure the people away from democratic processes.

     He said that these grievances, and more importantly their impact on different social groups, have not been addressed in Nepal either before or after the People's War which lasted from 1996 until 2006.

     "The economic policies of the early 1990s that contributed to the continued existence of inequality as well as unemployment have not changed much," Basnett said.

     He said the root cause has always been the absence of material progress for the vast majority of the Nepali people.

     While the rhetoric has changed from one political epoch to another, the problem remains the same and Nepal was and is still a poor country.

     "Until we transform the vision for a progressive Nepal into a reality, there will be people willing to fight, whether violently or peacefully, depending on the next political organization that emerges," Basnett said.

     Nepal's newly-elected Constituent Assembly (CA) convened for its inaugural meeting on Wednesday with a promise to deliver a new constitution within a year.

     Nepal is expected to resume the task of constitution drafting which was stalled after the dissolution of CA in May 27, 2012.

     Altogether 30 political parties are represented in the new CA as a result of the November 19 election, and more than 80 percent are new faces.

      The expert believed that Nepali voters are intelligent, and when seen through such a fine lens, one can better appreciate the electoral outcome   The Nepali Congress, which won most seats, is still expected to form the next government, possibly in a coalition with the UML, which was placed second. The UCPN-Maoist, which had emerged as the largest party in the first assembly polls in 2008, was reduced to third place.

     According to Basnett, the electoral outcome was a clear expression of voters' preference on two outstanding issues from the last constituent assembly: the shape of federalism and the structure of the state.

     "What the voters have done, through their expression of preference, brought politics in Nepal back to the center. But how the political parties in the center would utilize this opportunity is yet to be seen," Basnett added.